Investigating a Shooting-Induced Morass in Robb Elementary School with CNN Observations: Uvalde County Sheriff Ruben Nolasco
Uvalde County Sheriff Ruben Nolasco rushed toward Robb Elementary School when calls came in that a man was firing his gun after crashing his pickup truck on May 24.
He was part of a large group of cops that went to assist children and teachers. He had the rank to easily take charge, he had vital information about the shooter, and others looked to him as a commander on the scene, with up-to-date information.
Even though he had the name of a suspect, knew that the man had tried to kill his grandmother, and was less than half a mile from the school, Nolasco chose not to go, instead sending some of his deputies. As medics arrived, he stayed with the grandmother and took her to the hospital.
In the days after the massacre that killed 19 people, Nolasco was comforted by Texas Gov. Greg Abbot and US Sen. Ted Cruz.
He is an elected leader only and has not faced the same scrutiny as the school police chief, the acting city police chief or members of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
CNN has now detailed Nolasco’s actions in our investigation into the leaderless morass and lethal inaction at Uvalde. Nolasco rejected requests for interviews for months. CNN finally caught up with him in November and while he refused to respond to most questions, he did answer when asked if he thought his response was adequate: “Yeah,” he said. I do.
The radio dispatch of fourth graders call from Room 112 can be heard within earshot of Nolasco as he talked to a group of law enforcement officers outside the school.
Who did this to you? Nolasco can be heard asking on a previously undisclosed recording from a body camera worn by his deputy. The footage was uploaded to police servers within hours of the shooting and was made available to the Texas Rangers tasked with investigating the response but has not been made public.
According to an analysis of radio traffic by CNN, as well as the footage from body-worn and surveillance cameras, the name of the student was not immediately shared with the officers at the school.
Some kids were in the classroom we found. But then what we realized is that, hey, this is where the shooter was. He had a clear shot at us. He said that they decided to not clear the kids. “We tell them, ‘Y’all are gonna be OK. You all need to stay there.
Uvalde Elementary Massacre Resulted in the First 35 Minutes After the September 11th Shooting, DPS Director John Nolasco Revisited
After CNN reported that he knew children needed rescue, Pargas resigned from his position as Uvalde police chief.
CNN has also revealed the actions and inaction that have seen a Texas Ranger and a state police captain put under review, and a state police sergeant terminated. When CNN showed how she waited outside for the attack to start, the Uvalde school district fired her because she said it would’ve been different if her own son had been there.
Nolasco told CNN that he wasn’t at the school for the first 35 minutes, at least the first 35 minutes, when the standoff began.
He told the investigator he “had a good reason” for the delay, saying he stayed to arrange the EMS transport, persuaded a neighbor to get off the street while the shooter was loose and then made some calls.
There was no effective communication that active shooter protocols should be followed and the threat should be brought under control as soon as possible, either on the scene or among the many teams headed there. When he got to the scene, he believed they were dealing with a barricaded subject and that the response time was well into the second hour.
Betancourt said he did not know school police chief Arredondo was there until later. He did not mention Pargas, who is the police chief. DPS also had many of its own officers on scene, including now-fired Sgt. Juan Maldonado who was one of the first to arrive. The department’s chief said the failure was an “astonishing” one. DPS director Col. Steven McCraw told CNN he would resign if his department was culpable but told bereaved families in October he did not think DPS as an institution had failed.
In a second interview with an investigator, he elaborated, “I know the sheriff has operational control there at the time, and we’re getting with the sheriff to get firsthand information from the incident as it was occurring.”
Nolasco, captain, and the student killed in a shooting at a high-seismic-grade university: The case of Khloie
Nolasco denied that to CNN. “It’s his impression, that’s on him. He is a captain. And if that’s what he assumed, then it was an assumption. It was not validated.”
When he responded to a call from a student, CNN showed that Pargas knew children and teachers were trapped in classrooms with the shooter.
Nolasco complained to an investigator and CNN about how poorly the radios worked in and around the school, and that the noise from helicopters was detrimental too.
A police officer of the Uvalde city police told him that a child was on the line. Nolasco did not check whether help was on the way to Khloie, who survived the massacre, and her classmates and teachers and instead focused on evacuating classes not under immediate threat.
The sheriff was with the captain and he issued an order to stop entry to a classroom, but nobody did.
He said that when they have hostages in the building, they don’t want to break down doors because they might put responders in danger.
He talked at the end of the interview about the trauma he had suffered as a result.
A mass shooting at Michigan State University left three people dead and five others critically wounded Monday evening, triggering an hourslong manhunt and shelter-in-place orders before the suspect died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
The gunman was a 43-year-old man who was not affiliated with the university, Interim Deputy Chief Chris Rozman said, adding, “We have no idea why he came to campus to do this tonight.” Police didn’t say if the victims were students or their ages.
The attack came one day before the five-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and marked the 67th mass shooting in 2023 – with four or more people wounded or killed, not including the shooter – data from the non-profit group Gun Violence Archive shows.
FBI profilers are analyzing a letter that may be connected to the shooting, according to the law enforcement officials. The note doesn’t say why the locations are targets or what grievances are.
Local authorities said the suspect, a 43-year-old man, was found dead off the campus in East Lansing, Mich., from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. They said that the man is not associated with the university and that a motive has not been determined. Police believe there is only one suspect.
MSU student Chris Trush told CNN he saw people running out of the Union building – a congregation spot for students on campus – shortly before an emergency alert went out to students informing them of the shooting on campus.
Teresa Woodruff, interim president of the university, told students, faculty and staff early Tuesday that support would be provided. She said that they want to be around every family that was touched by this tragedy and that they were devastated with the loss of life.
As shelter-in-place orders were in effect Monday evening, another student, Gabe Treutel, said he and his dorm mates hunkered down and turned to a local police scanner for information.
The lounge area at Campbell Hall is on the north side of the campus and it has 30 people in it.
“We’re not learning very much,” Charles told CNN’s Erin Burnett earlier in the night, saying she did not hear any gunshots herself, but that some of her co-workers heard shots.
The East Lansing Public Schools in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting – I’m so sorry you didn’t hear from Michigan State
Though officials said there is no longer a threat to the campus, the university will move into emergency operations for the next two days, during which time students will experience a continued police presence as investigators probe multiple scenes.
All of the campus activities have been canceled for at least 48 hours. Counselors are available for students and employees at the school.
“We want to wrap our warm arms around every family that is touched by this tragedy and give them the peace that passeth understanding in moments like this… we will change over time,” Woodruff said. We can’t allow this to happen again.
The attack at MSU – which came one day before the five-year anniversary of a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida – resulted in the closure of all East Lansing Public Schools Tuesday.
“Tonight has been horrific. It’s been horrific for all of the students here and around the region. Schools have been closed. Our entire region has been impacted by this. It’s affected families, everyone across our community,” Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said.
“This truly has been a nightmare that we are living tonight,” Rozman said. “We are relieved to no longer have an active threat on campus, while we realize that there is so much healing that will need to take place after this,” he added.
The chief of police at Michigan State said responding to the shooting was a monumental task due to the size of the campus.
We have thousands of acres of campus and over 400 buildings, so we were able to divide and organize to find the evidence as it came in. But with a university our size and the areas that we are responsible for, that becomes a task,” Lynch said.
Two buildings were accessible during business hours in the wake of Monday night’s shootings: An MSU student, a student, and a parent
The two buildings at the center of Monday evening’s shootings are accessible to the general public during business hours, police said in an early morning news conference Tuesday.
A large number of officers from various agencies responded to the scene. The victims were taken to Sparrow Hospital. They were listed in critical condition, but no other information about the victims was available, Rozman said.
The shelter in place warning was lifted early Tuesday morning after police secured Berkey and other buildings. Earlier in the evening, police discouraged parents from coming to campus.
“For parents, we understand,” he said. I can’t imagine what that emotion is like right now. It is going to help us, it is going to help us respond, and it is going to help us identify the shooter.
Gathered around a landmark MSU rock bearing the words “Always a Spartan,” thousands of students, faculty, staff and community members came together with flowers to honor the three students killed in Monday night’s mass shooting: Arielle Anderson, Alexandria Verner and Brian Fraser.
The Michigan Attorney General and the Witnesses to Monday Night’s Mass Shooting at a High School: A Suspected Shooting Event
“We shouldn’t have to live like this,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told the crowd. “We shouldn’t have to subconsciously scan every room for an exit, go through the grim exercise of figuring out who our last call would be to.”
“Our campuses, churches, classrooms and communities should not be battlefields,” the governor told the grieving crowd that included students who had also lived through another mass shooting at a Michigan high school just 15 months ago.
At Wednesday’s vigil, MSU’s head men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo told the students to allow themselves to show their emotions as they process the tragedy.
Law enforcement officials who have access to the note told CNN that it began with his name and went on to say that he was going to shoot up the school.
The note claims a group of 20 people are planning to kill a warehouse, a job agency, a church, and a fast-food restaurant, law enforcement officials who have access to the note told CNN.
The businesses were warned but that the shooter was dead and there wasn’t enough evidence to show he was the leader of the team.
McRae was previously charged with carrying a concealed weapon – a felony count that would have prevented him from being able to buy a gun if he were convicted.
At the federal level, a conviction does not prevent someone from buying a gun. But in Michigan, “the charge under Michigan law is either a low-class felony or high-class misdemeanor,” the state attorney general’s office said.
A law enforcement source said that McRae bought two guns in Michigan in 2021. The source said that one was a Taurus and the other a Hi-Point 9mm pistol.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel – who has two sons at the university left shaken by this week’s tragedy – told CNN it wasn’t clear yet if the weapon used in Monday night’s incident was purchased legally or not.
“Somebody who is having mental health issues, somebody who just had been illegally possessing a gun, and look how easy it was for him to obtain a weapon even in the wake of all that, something’s gotta change,” Nessel said.
The suspect’s father, Michael McRae, told CNN his son became bitter, isolated and “evil angry” after his mother died from a stroke two years ago and “didn’t care about anything no more.”
Michael McRae said that since his wife died his son began to change. He was getting more and more angry. It was angry and bitter. So angry. Evil angry … He began to really let himself go. His teeth were not holding up. He stopped cutting his hair. He looked like a wolf man.”
The Three Shooting Students Who Died in a Student’s Class. A Memoriam of Guadalupe Huapilla-Pérez
The three students who were killed in the shooting were honoured at the Wednesday’s vigil. They remembered their smiles, their kindness, their sense of humor and the dreams they had.
Anderson was looking to become a doctor, according to her aunt. I am puzzled as to why my daughter was in class and still dead by a person who clearly didn’t know what he was about to do to my family. No parent should have to grieve the loss of their child.
The Michigan chapter of the Chi Omega Fraternity said that Fraser was its president. He was a leader and a great friend to his brothers, the Greek community and the people he interacted with on campus, the fraternity said.
And Verner, a graduate of Clawson Public Schools, was “everything you’d want a student to be,” school district Superintendent Billy Shellenbarger said.
The mass shooting also left five other students in critical condition. While authorities have not identified them, student Guadalupe Huapilla-Pérez is among the wounded, according to a verified GoFundMe account and the National HEP/CAMP Association, which Huapilla-Pérez participated in at school.
“The time away from work for her family, the long recovery road ahead, and the subsequent medical expenses to care for Guadalupe, will place both an emotional and financial a burden on her family,” the organization said on Facebook.
The wake of a Spartan student: Marco Daz-Muoz, an assistant professor at Michigan State University
“There will never be a return to normal. This event has changed what that will feel like for us forever. But that’s okay,” Kovach said. I love Spartans because of the way they come together in times of need.
Michigan State Police provided security at the event to allow the police from the university to grieve, the department said.
The noise was so loud it didn’t sound like the gunfire from the movies to Marco Díaz-Muñoz – it was more like an electrical generator blowing up. “But then there was one, there was two, there was three,” the assistant Michigan State University professor told CNN of the sounds. And then a gunman stepped inside his classroom.
When the world changed for him and his students at the halfway point of his Monday class, Daz-Muoz was in a state of shock. In minutes the welcoming, open campus community was shattered by another gunman’s rampage in another school, by another mass shooting in America that killed the innocent.
The man who came looked like an imitation of a robot and the figure Daz-Muoz was able to see was completely masked.
The sight of their deaths in his class in the favorite room on his campus haunted him. Díaz-Muñoz first arrived at MSU as a graduate student, then returned in 2008 to teach. Whenever schedules were drawn up, he always asked to be put back in room 114 of Berkey Hall. He knew how to work the tech there and loved the view through the windows towards the Broad Art Museum, he explained.
Su: Shooting a professor and putting his foot on the wall. His reaction to seeing the attacker in a classroom, but without breathing
“I don’t know how long he stood there,” the professor recalled. He shot 15 shots, one after the other, one after the other. Bang, bang, bang.”
He said, “I squatted and held the door tight so that my weight would keep it and I was putting my foot on the wall.” He said he knew the attacker could shoot through the handle he was holding.
He told the students to kick the windows out in order to escape. The bottom panes did not break, but those above did, and some students were able to scramble out.
Others did not go. Daza-Muoz said they tried to cover the wounds of the injured with their hands. “They were heroic because they could have escaped through the windows. They helped their classmates.
After moving his body from his barricade and allowing police officers in, it felt like 10 minutes, but it felt like 12 minutes.
Some students had tried to take cover under the fixed seats of the classroom. One man who was in the middle of a row called for help because he couldn’t breathe.
Daz-Muoz says he can’t look at blood when you draw it, but when you do, you will see it in the mirror
Daz-Muoz refuses to look at blood when it is drawn from him for a test. In other cases, he imagined he would have fainted from the sight, but this time other reactions kicked in.
He learned later that two of his students, Arielle Anderson and Alexandria Verner, died. Brian Fraser was shot and killed at the student union. Most of the people injured were in Daz-Muoz’ class.
Díaz-Muñoz said he got home at about 3 a.m. on Tuesday. The man’s wife had been waiting for him in a different hallway than the one the man thought was used for the shooting. He said he took medication and slept.
“There is a part of me that feels like I want to go under the blankets and take more pills and not wake up for a while,” he said. “I want to not remember these scenes and not have to go teach that class.
He wanted to see them, the kids to him were like his family. “I want to help them, and I want to inspire them, and I want to teach them, and I want to help them finish the semester in as positive a note as it can be under the circumstances.
He adds his voice to those who want more to be done about the mental health crisis in the US, and to address gun control. And by telling his story, he hopes he can paint a picture of what happened.
He says that he knows how to make people believe one side, then make them believe the other side, and still be convincing.
He said he believes that politicians and others are rationalizing the causes and impacts of shootings to meet their own agenda when he feels the most beneficial changes in history have come from people allowing themselves to listen to their humanity.
He said he has felt the weight of what happened. He said that he was so distressed by the damage done and the pain felt by the two girls in the classroom that he cried.
For now, he does want to teach again. To be strict but fair as a professor and make students pay for everything they’re worth. He now shares a lot of his bond with the students in his Monday night Cuban lit class.