A Uvalde mom says its 'shameful' she had to leave work and run into the school to save her kids during the shooting while dozens of cops were on scene

·3 min read
The Robb Elementary School sign is seen covered in flowers and gifts on June 17, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.
Robb Elementary School sign is seen covered in flowers and gifts on June 17, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.Brandon Bell/Getty Images
  • A Uvalde mom who ran into Robb Elementary School during last month's massacre says it was "shameful" she had to save her kids.

  • Angeli Gomez called out the police's response at a school board meeting on Monday night.

  • Uvalde families called for the board to fire embattled school district police chief Pete Arredondo.

A Uvalde, Texas, mother who ran into Robb Elementary School during last month's deadly shooting to rescue her two sons called it "shameful" that she had to save her children herself.

"I find it shameful that we had almost 100 officers on the scene, and I had to leave work and save my own," Angeli Gomez said during an emotional open forum at a Uvalde school district board meeting on Monday night.

Gomez added, "If nothing is done by this council to ensure the safety of our children, perhaps it is time for individuals who are willing to risk their lives for our children to fill your seats."

The mother has told news outlets that she pushed past a police line and darted into the school to get her kids during the May 24 shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

"Our elementary schools are built with the same concept of a motel," she said at the school board hearing. "If I was able to jump a fence to seek access to my students, so can an intruder."

It took more than an hour for officers to go into the adjoining classrooms where the 18-year-old shooter carried out the rampage and stop him, even though students trapped inside repeatedly called 911 for help over a roughly 40-minute span.

Embattled school district police chief Pete Arredondo has been identified as the on-scene commander during the mass shooting, and he has come under fire for allegedly delaying authorities from confronting the gunman.

Col. Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, has said that Arredondo made the "wrong" decision in prolonging police from going inside.

Arredondo told the Texas Tribune in a recent interview that he didn't think he was in charge and assumed someone else was in control.

During Monday's meeting, Uvalde community members — including some whose children or relatives were slain in the massacre — called for the board to fire Pete Arredondo over the botched police response to the shooting.

"We were failed by Pete Arredondo," said Brett Cross, the uncle of 10-year-old shooting victim Uziyah Garcia. "He failed our kids, teachers, parents and city, and by keeping him on your staff, y'all are continuing to fail us."

Cross continued, "Having Pete still employed, knowing he is incapable of decision-making that saves lives, is terrifying."

"Innocence doesn't hide, innocence doesn't change its story, but innocence did die on May 24 at Robb Elementary," Cross said.

Another parent of a child who was killed in the shooting echoed similar frustrations to Cross.

"We all know that they messed up. We all know that this wasn't handled right," said the man, identified by CNN as Ryan Ramirez, the father of 10-year-old victim Alithia Ramirez.

"Y'all can do everything you want to try to make us happy, but it's not going to work. Y'all know what we want — accountability," said Ramirez who broke down in tears while speaking.

Ramirez went on, "I had officers from the department look me in the eye — because I was trying so hard to get in there — and ask me to trust them."

"How are we supposed to continue our lives here, knowing that those people that are supposed to protect us let down our family?" he said.

At least two Uvalde community members held up signs during the school board meeting reading, "FIRE PETE ARREDONDO" and "Enough is Enough!"

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