A Texas SWAT chief who was shot at while first storming Robb Elementary School had repeatedly warned “we gotta get in there” — more than 70 minutes before gunman Salvador Ramos was finally confronted.
Bodycam footage from Sgt. Eduardo Canales, the head of the Uvalde’s SWAT team, shows his team cautiously walking through the halls at 11:37 a.m. — just minutes after Ramos, 18, had entered, killing 19 kids and two teachers.
“Watch that door! Watch that door!” he warns — before four loud shots ring out as the gunman shoots at them, the footage shows.
“F–k — am I bleeding? Am I bleeding?” Canales asks as he and the others flee from taking fire, with other angles showing him touching his head to check for a wound.
With him in the initial response appears to be Ruben Ruiz, the school police department officer whose wife, Eva Mireles, 44, was among two teachers slain.
“It’s my wife’s classroom,” the officer says as the SWAT commander passes him.
Within a minute of being shot at, Canales makes clear how urgent it is for Ramos to be confronted.
“Dude, we’ve got to get in there. We’ve got to get in there, he just keeps shooting. We’ve got to get in there,” Canales keeps repeating.
Instead, another officer could be heard saying that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) “is sending their people” to end the crisis.
Even after nearly 400 officers arrived, it would be another 73 minutes after Canales first tried to confront Ramos that officers would finally storm the classroom and kill the deranged school shooter.
That came even as officers at the scene were aware of 911 calls coming from injured children trapped with the school shooter, begging for help.
One disturbing clip catches an officer standing at the door closest to the chaos swearing as a radio report comes through about one of the kids’ 911 calls.
“A child called 911 saying the room’s full of victims. The room is full of victims,” he can be heard saying.
Ruiz, meanwhile, had initially stayed on scene, with footage catching him checking his phone while getting messages from his wife that children were shot and dying.
DPS Director Steve McCraw said at a hearing last month that Ruiz tried to rescue his dying wife but “was detained, and they took his gun away from him and escorted him off the scene.”
In an extensive report on the May 24 shooting, officials blasted several law enforcement agencies for not responding more swiftly to the gunman.
“The void of leadership could have contributed to the loss of life as injured victims waited over an hour for help, and the attacker continued to sporadically fire his weapon,” the 77-page report says.