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Gunman emerged from classroom closet firing at Border Patrol agents, official says

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw spoke May 27 about the police response to a mass shooting at an elementary school on May 24. (Video: Reuters)

The Uvalde, Tex., gunman emerged from a classroom closet firing at Border Patrol tactical agents entering the room, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said Friday, offering new details about the shooting after days of shifting accounts from authorities.

The Border Patrol agents, using a ballistic shield, entered the classroom and shot and killed the gunman after a phalanx of officers had waited outside for nearly 50 minutes while children repeatedly called 911, pleading for help, Texas law enforcement acknowledged for the first time Friday, four days after the massacre of 21 people.

The explanation of the slow response to Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde comes after state officials have offered contradictory and partial accounts of what happened in the days since to the frustration of parents.

Here’s what else to know

  • On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said he was “misled” when he praised police earlier, now saying he is “livid about what happened” and would call for investigations into the response to the shooting.
  • Former president Donald Trump delivered a full-throated defense of gun rights at the NRA convention, rejected efforts at tighter gun laws and argued that if the United States can spend $40 billion on Ukraine, it can harden security at schools.
  • The 911 calls disclosed Friday shed light on the agonizing wait for help inside two adjoining classrooms during that time.
  • Family members and friends of the victims said they are angry over the police response. Others predicted the debate would forever be a painful part of the city’s history.
  • Among the victims of the shooting: Some had just made the honor roll. Two of the girls played basketball together. One boy loved soccer and dancing with his brothers at home.
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Headshot of Meryl Kornfield
Just hours after a law enforcement official acknowledged responding officers made the “wrong decision” to not stop the shooter, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) initially steered clear of the topic during a news conference about victims.Instead, he spoke of resources to aid the victims’ families, asking state officials to come forward to talk about government efforts and announcing a $175,000 anonymous donation to pay for funeral expenses.When reporters repeatedly asked about the law enforcement’s response, Abbott said he would only answer questions about the resources available to victims at first, days after he praised the responding officers.