A dying Uvalde teacher was on the phone with her husband — a school police officer whose boss decided not to enter her classroom, report says | CNN




CNN
 — 

In the 77 minutes of bloodshed at a Texas elementary school, teacher Eva Mireles spent some of her final breaths on the phone with her husband, telling him she was dying, a Uvalde County official told The New York Times.

But her husband – school district police officer Ruben Ruiz – wasn’t able to save his wife and 20 other victims massacred last week at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

The officer’s boss, school district Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, decided not to breach the adjoining classrooms where a gunman slaughtered 19 children and two teachers, including Mireles.

During the bloodbath, a negotiator tried to call the shooter, but he didn’t respond, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told reporters Wednesday.

“They tried every number they could find that he was associated with,” McLaughlin said.

Now, this city engulfed in grief is also tormented by shifting police narratives, unanswered questions and the horror of knowing 21 victims were trapped with a gunman for more than an hour – despite repeated 911 calls for help from inside the classrooms.

Mireles, a fourth-grade teacher, was on the phone with Ruiz during the massacre, Uvalde County Judge Bill Mitchell told The New York Times after being briefed by sheriff’s deputies.

Ruiz was among the many law enforcement officers to respond to the school during that attack.

“She’s in the classroom and he’s outside. It’s terrifying,” Mitchell told the Times on Wednesday.

In Texas, county judges are the county’s executive and top official.

Mitchell said he didn’t know the exact words exchanged between the teacher and the school district police officer. But the core message was devastating.

“He’s outside hearing his wife: ‘I’m dying,’” Mitchell told the Times.

He said he didn’t know whether Ruiz relayed details of his phone call with his wife to Arredondo, who was the incident commander during the massacre.

The director of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the incident commander believed the scene was no longer an active shooter situation, but a barricaded person scenario. It’s not clear why.

Established law enforcement policy, created in the wake of the Columbine school shooting of 1999, calls for police to stop the gunman as fast as possible in an active shooter situation.

Speaking exclusively to CNN on Wednesday, Arredondo said he won’t release any further information while funerals are ongoing.

“We’re going to be respectful to the family,” said Arredondo, who was sworn in as a new city council member Tuesday.

“We’re going to do that eventually,” the school district police chief said. “Whenever this is done and the families quit grieving, then we’ll do that obviously.”

In this small city, everyone knows someone deeply impacted by the massacre.

After border patrol tactical agents ultimately breached the classrooms and killed 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos, a Texas DPS trooper saw the carnage and found a gravely wounded friend.

It was Mireles – the teacher who told her husband she was dying.

“It was an honor to spend the last moment with Eva as she left this Earth to go to a greater place,” DPS Trooper Juan Maldonado told CNN affiliate KSAT.

Maldonado met Mireles and her husband years ago when their daughters joined the same soccer team, KSAT reported.

“She protected her students,” Maldonado said. “She’s a hero to everyone, and she’s a hero to the family and to Uvalde.”

Mireles’ funeral is scheduled for Friday.

Funeral services for the other teacher killed, Irma Garcia, and her husband, Joe Garcia, took place Wednesday. Joe Garcia died of a heart attack two days after his wife was gunned down. The couple’s family attributed his death to a broken heart.

Local, state and federal investigators will scour the still evolving details of the massacre to try to understand what went so horrifically wrong.

Right now, the Texas Rangers are investigating the mass tragedy. Once the agency completes its probe, Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Busbee said she will review the report and determine how to proceed.

“The Rangers will complete their investigation. I will review it and then we will see if there are any criminal charges that need to be brought,” Busbee said.

At the same time, the US Justice Department said it will review the law enforcement response to the deadly rampage.

The review aims “to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events,” a Justice Department spokesperson said.

While the investigations haven’t been completed, some notions are abundantly clear, said Thor Eells, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association (NTAO).

He said the incident commander’s belief that the shooter was no longer active and the decision to not immediately bust into the classroom were “100% flawed.”

“If you’re in a classroom with innocent victims, and I know that shots have been fired, I need to engage you,” Eells said. “Even if you stopped firing, I’m going to make entry into the room so we can begin to administer life-saving aid to any potential victims.”

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: red wine stain removers