In a horrifying detail revealed by a Uvalde County official to the New York Times, Robb Elementary teacher Eva Mireles from inside the classroom spoke to her police officer husband. Ruben Ruiz was unable to save her.
Uvalde County Judge BIll Mitchell told the Times, “She’s in the classroom and he’s outside. It’s terrifying.”
School district Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo decided not to enter the adjoining classrooms where the 18-year-old gunman killed 21, including two teachers. This decision kept Ruiz from saving his dying wife.
Ruiz reportedly rushed to the scene but was prevented by other officers from entering the building. While on the phone with his wife for an undisclosed amount of time, she told him, “I’m dying.” It has not been determined whether Arrendondo knew of the conversation.
Mireles was a 17-year teaching veteran and hiking enthusiast who locals say died while defending her small students. For five years she co-taught with teacher Imra Garcia, who was also killed in the attack.
Texas Department of Public Safety officials say the embattled Arredondo determined the school was no longer an active shooter situation but rather a “barricaded person.” This despite clear protocols established after the 1999 Columbine massacre to quickly engage the shooter.
Officials say because of the delay, medical treatment that may have saved Mireles and others was delayed. Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw calls it “the wrong decision. Period.”
Last December, Arredondo completed an eight-hour law enforcement training course for active shooter situations. He received the same eight-hour training in 2020 and 16 hours of the course, “Terrorism Response Tactics — Active Shooter.”
The revelation comes amongst an avalanche of new details, some diverging from the original narrative, that are now known.
There is still a question as to whether the 911 calls from children inside the school were relayed to commanders at the scene.
Uvalde’s mayor, Don McLaughlin, asked for a Justice Department investigation. In a telling statement about the official but unreliable reporting of events, the conservative mayor says those Texas viewed as “ironclad and completely reliable” are known now to be false.