An off-duty Customs and Border Protection agent from an elite tactical unit is the hero who shot and killed the Robb Elementary School gunman before he could continue his massacre, reports said Wednesday.
The agent, a member of CBP’s Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), rushed into the school while the shooter was still active and began exchanging rounds with the gunman, who was barricaded inside a fourth-grade classroom, NBC and Fox reported.
The officer was injured during the shooting but he managed to “eliminate the threat” and kill the shooter before he could commit more carnage, law enforcement sources told NBC.
The agent, part of CBP’s Del Rio sector, which covers Uvalde, was trained in a manner similar to US special forces. BORTAC agents are taught to handle terror threats abroad and other chaos, such as riots at ICE detention facilities, NBC reported.
Marsha Espinosa, the Department of Homeland Security’s assistant secretary of public affairs, confirmed on Twitter late Tuesday that at least one Border Patrol agent was wounded by the shooter.
“U.S. Border Patrol Agents responded to a law enforcement request for assistance re an active shooter situation inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Upon entering the building, agents & other law enforcement officers faced gun fire from the subject, who was barricaded inside,” Espinosa said.
“Risking their own lives, these Border Patrol Agents and other officers put themselves between the shooter and children on the scene to draw the shooter’s attention away from potential victims and save lives.”
She said both on- and off-duty CBP agents went to the scene to help students get to safety and provide medical support.
At least 19 kids and two adults were killed in the shooting, one of the worst school massacres in US history.