Border Patrol agent credited with killing Texas elementary school shooter
Other agents distracted the gunman to save lives, the DHS said, and at least two law enforcement officers were shot
By Suzie Ziegler
UVALDE, Texas — Details are still unfolding after the nation’s latest mass shooting brought tragedy to an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. As of Wednesday morning, the death toll had risen to include 19 children and two teachers. The gunman also died. On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the gunman was likely killed by responding officers, and we now know that a Border Patrol agent is credited with dealing the fatal shot, The Washington Examiner reported.
According to The Examiner, the agent rushed into Robb Elementary School without waiting for backup, found the gunman hiding behind a barricade and fatally shot him. The agent was working nearby when the gunman began shooting, according to the Associated Press.
The unnamed agent was injured but was able to walk out of the school, an anonymous law enforcement source told The Examiner. Border Patrol sources also confirmed the agent is a member of the agency’s elite tactical team, called BORTAC, according to Bill Melugin, a Fox News reporter. Melugin says the agent’s leg was hurt, but it’s unclear if the agent was shot or struck by shrapnel.
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Marsha Espinosa, assistant secretary of public affairs for the Department of Homeland Security, says Border Patrol agents saved lives by drawing the shooter’s attention away from the children.
“Risking their own lives, these Border Patrol Agents and other officers put themselves between the shooter and children on the scene to draw the shooter’s attention away from potential victims and save lives,” Espinosa wrote on Twitter. “On-and-off duty Border Patrol Agents arrived on the scene to assist with transferring students safely to their families and providing medical support.”
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Espinosa said agents were called to the school after local law enforcement requested assistance for an active shooter situation. More details are emerging as police continue to investigate the tragic incident. On Wednesday, police confirmed that all the victims were in the same fourth-grade classroom.
Risking their own lives, these Border Patrol Agents and other officers put themselves between the shooter and children on the scene to draw the shooter’s attention away from potential victims and save lives.— Marsha (Catron) Espinosa (@MCatronDHS) May 25, 2022
The gunman “barricaded himself by locking the door and just started shooting children and teachers that were inside that classroom,” Lt. Christopher Olvarez told CNN. “It just shows you the complete evil of the shooter.”
The attack began at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday when the gunman crashed his car outside the school, prompting a resident who heard the crash to call 911, according to ABC News. Two local police officers responded and exchanged gunfire with the shooter. Both officers were shot, but their conditions weren't immediately released.
Uvalde is located just 70 miles east of the U.S.-Mexico border and has its own border station. Some Border Patrol agents have children at Robb Elementary, reported the Associated Press.