In the days after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two teachers dead, news reports echoed police claims that the shooter entered the classroom where he killed all his victims through a door that was left propped open by a school teacher.
Now, according to the San Antonio Express-News, the teacher's lawyer says she closed the door shut after she was informed an active shooter was on the loose.
Lawyer Don Flanary said the teacher, who remains unidentified, called 911 to report an accident near the school involving a black truck, which later turned out to belong to the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. Flanary added that the teacher propped open the door around the time Ramos crashed his truck, and that the employee called 911, but said he wants to make clear that the door was not left propped open.
“She saw the wreck,” Flanary said. “She ran back inside to get her phone to report the accident. She came back out while on the phone with 911. The men at the funeral home yelled, ‘He has a gun!’ She saw him jump the fence, and he had a gun so she ran back inside."
“She kicked the rock away when she went back in. She remembers pulling the door closed while telling 911 that he was shooting. She thought the door would lock because that door is always supposed to be locked.”
A source familiar with the investigation said security video confirms the teacher removed the rock holding the door open and closed it.
Texas authorities belatedly admitted Friday that as many as 19 police officers were in the school hallway for more than an hour without acting, thinking the shooter had ended his killing.
"From the benefit of hindsight... it was the wrong decision, period," said Texas Department of Public Safety director Steven McCraw.
Ramos, who carried two assault-style rifles, was finally killed by the border patrol.
Uvalde survivors have described making desperate, whispered pleas for help in 911 phone calls during his assault. Many played dead to avoid drawing the shooter's attention.
Eleven-year-old Miah Cerrillo even smeared the blood of a dead friend on herself as she feigned death.
Samuel Salinas said he thinks Ramos fired at him, but the bullet struck a chair, sending shrapnel into the boy's leg. "I played dead so he wouldn't shoot me," he said.
With additional reporting by AFP
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