UVALDE, Texas — Justin Rodriguez’s 11-year-old nephew was in the classroom that a shooter attacked on Tuesday.
If he’d known how close the boy was to the bullets, he might not have followed the orders of the Uvalde police officers he encountered outside Robb Elementary School.
“There was some time where I just wanted to run in,” he said. “Yes, the officers had tasers ready, but at that point I did not care whatsoever.”
Rodriguez lives blocks from the school.
Like dozens of other family members of students, he ran to campus in a panic.
He said some parents were jumping the fence to try to get to their kids.
In a moment of panic, it can feel like officers are moving in slow motion.
But in a news conference on Thursday, the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed that it did take one hour to take down the suspect.
The first officers arrived within four minutes of getting the call, according to Victor Escalon, a regional director of Texas DPS.
But those initial officers were fired upon.
“They don’t make entry because of the gunfire they’re receiving,” Escalon said.
Sources told ABC News the Uvalde Police Department does not have a SWAT team and had to call in tactical teams from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
DPS also admitted Thursday that some initial information released to the public was wrong.
They now say no school resource officer confronted the suspect outside. He got in through an unlocked door.
Grief is only adding to the questions of whether the response was aggressive and quick enough.
“We all just wanted to run through everybody and take out [the shooter],” Justin said. “Could we have done it? Yes, I believe we could have, but more lives would have been sacrificed.”
Uvalde mom Monique Hernandez believes the police response shouldn’t be criticized.
“I don’t care what some post on Facebook or anything says that these officers did not do, because they did everything. They did everything,” she said.