A Texas safety inspector posing as an intruder was recently able to stroll unchallenged into a Uvalde school — as a damning new investigation also blamed a “flawed medical response” for failing to save some of the 21 slaughtered in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary.
The inspector was even able to enter through a back door that did not latch, eerily similar to how 18-year-old madman Salvador Ramos got into Robb elementary before killing 19 fourth-graders and two teachers.
The shocking breach was revealed at a Uvalde school meeting Monday night, attended by at least a dozen family members of victims of the May shooting, the San Antonio Express-News said.
Grieving loved ones were furious that “somebody just walked right in” seven months after one of the deadliest school shootings in history, KSAT also said of the meeting.
As part of a state-mandated security audit, an inspector posing as an intruder attempted to gain access to three different schools in the grief-stricken area — strolling into one unchallenged, the meeting heard.
Interim district Superintendent Gary Patterson admitted the error, saying the ongoing security lapse “is really 100 percent my responsibility,” telling the meeting: “We have got to secure those areas.”
Berlinda Arreola, the grandmother of Uvalde victim Amerie Jo Garza, shared a picture of a a school safety officer, sitting and looking at his phone.
“This is probably why, because they’re not paying attention to our students,” the angry grandmother said of the breach.
Patterson also admitted at the meeting the district was way behind on plans to install $5 million in security equipment in district schools, including cameras, fences, bullet-resistant doors and a central command center to tackle the woeful police response in May.
“I hate that, but we are making progress — just not as quickly as we’d like,” Patterson said. “Those bullet-resistant materials are difficult to get right now.”
The meeting was held hours before the publication of a damning joint investigation by The Texas Tribune, ProPublica and The Washington Post into an apparent “flawed medical response” that may have “undermined the chances of survival for some victims.”
As cops waited 77 minutes to finally end Ramos’ carnage, medics were blocked from driving ambulances up — even when the active shooter was dead, with much-needed helicopters also made to wait 3 miles away, the report said.
In the chaos after the shooting, cops also raced to bring out the dead rather than prioritizing those still alive — in scenes so heartbreakingly chaotic crews even stepped on some of the victims, the report said.
Even after Ramos was dead and the active shooting ended, many medics were kept away, leaving untrained troopers to perform CPR in their place, the report said, citing previously unseen footage and documents.
Three of the victims — Jacklyn “Jackie” Cazares, 9, Xavier Lopez, 10, and their 44-year-old teacher Eva Mireles — were still alive when pulled from the classroom, but later succumbed to their injuries.
Harrowing bodycam footage showed a Border Patrol medic desperately trying to save a shot child who appeared to be Lopez, the report said.
“I can still feel the heart,” medic Andrew Aviles had yelled, according to interviews he later gave to investigators that were punctuated with sobs.
“I need a f–king plane. I need a helicopter down. I need to get a kid inside there!” he had yelled, the report said — noting that it would be at least another 15 minutes before a helicopter landed near the school.
A trooper who did not have an EMT or paramedic license in Texas performed CPR for more than 30 minutes on the child, who was pronounced dead after being diverted to a closer hospital.
“If the cops had done their job, the medics might’ve had a chance,” Xavier’s father, Abel Lopez, told the outlets.
The boy’s mom, Felicha Martinez, added: “I’m so full of anger. I don’t know how to put into words how much I am hurting.”
Other footage showed teacher Mireles still alive after the carnage as she was comforted by her husband, a school cop held back from storming in to rescue her.
“You’re fine. You’re fine,” officer Ruben Ruiz tried to assure his wife, who had tied a plastic bag around her arm as a makeshift tourniquet and warned her surviving students she would likely die, the report said.
Outside the school, emergency responders then frantically tried to keep the teacher alive on the sidewalk after her heart stopped — with her finally put into an ambulance 16 minutes after the school was breached, records showed.
Rather than race her to a hospital, the ambulance stayed put as first responders continued CPR for about 40 minutes before declaring her dead.
The biggest delay, however, was the 77 minutes cops took to storm the room even as they got 911 calls from kids begging for help from inside.
“Had medics gotten to her quickly, there’s a good chance she would’ve survived,” Babak Sarani, director of critical care at George Washington University Hospital, told the outlets.
None of the agencies mentioned in the report commented on the investigation findings. The school district also declined to release its active-shooter response plans or protocols, the outlets said.
The implications, however, could stretch far beyond the Lone Star State, given how unprepared the response was despite a horrifying tally of mass shootings across the US.
“We, as a nation, are not ready,” Sarani warned.