Facebook posts, chaos and grief
In a Facebook post published at 11:43 a.m. local time Tuesday, sometime after the honor roll event, Robb administrators announced that the campus was under “Lockdown Status.”
“Please know at this time Robb Elementary is under a Lockdown Status due to gunshots in the area. The students and staff are safe in the building. The building is secure in a Lockdown Status,” Robb spokeswoman Anne Marie Espinoza said in the post.
Thirty-four minutes later, Robb administrators published an update on Facebook: “There is an active shooter at Robb Elementary. Law enforcement is on site. Your cooperation is needed at this time by not visiting the campus.”
Inside the school, the shooter managed to “make entry into a classroom,” Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Lt. Chris Olivarez said Wednesday on NBC’s “TODAY” show.
“He barricaded himself inside that classroom and … just began shooting numerous children and teachers who were in that classroom, having no regard for human life.”
In time, law enforcement officers arrived. The shooter was killed by an off-duty agent with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol Tactical Unit and two law enforcement officers, law enforcement sources said.
“Robb Elementary students are being transported to the Willie DeLeon Civic Center for reunification,” Robb Elementary School said in a Facebook post at 12:30 p.m.
“The Civic Center will be under a Secure Status until all students are [accounted] for. Parents please do not pick up students at this time. You will be notified to pick up students once all are accounted for.”
In the hours that followed, parents of Robb students descended on the area.
Nearly 2,000 miles away, funeral services were held for Aaron W. Salter Jr., a retired police officer and one of 10 people killed at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, on May 14. The service at Amigone Funeral Home started at 2 p.m. local time, a spokeswoman said.
Funeral services were also held Tuesday for Celestine Chaney, a grandmother of six and another victim of the Buffalo massacre.
Hours later, around 10 p.m. local time, reporters in Texas described hearing sobs as parents and families of Robb Elementary School students learned the worst news imaginable.
“The agonized screams of family members are audible from the parking lot,” Austin Statesman reporter Niki Griswold tweeted.
It was pouring rain in Uvalde, she said, and in time all of the families went home.