On May 24, a shooter opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers.
911 calls placed by students suggest the gunfire lasted long after authorities said they arrived.
Insider has compiled a timeline of how the day of the attack unfolded.
On Tuesday, May 24, an 18-year-old gunman opened fire on children and teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Two teachers and 19 children were killed, making it the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre 10 years ago. The gunman was shot by law enforcement at the scene.
And while many aspects of the day's events are still being investigated, here is a timeline of what officials and news outlets have confirmed about the shooting. In some cases, the exact sequence of events is unknown.
May 17 — The shooter buys a semiautomatic rifle the day after he turns 18
Local outlet KPRC-2, citing city officials, reported that the gunman was born on May 16, 2004.
He bought two assault weapons in the days after he turned 18, The Associated Press reported, citing Texas State Sen. Roland Gutierrez.
One was a semiautomatic rifle, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The agency's director, Steve McCraw, initially said at a Wednesday press conference these purchases were in March, but a spokesperson for the agency later clarified to Insider that he misspoke. The semiautomatic rifle was bought on May 17, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Gutierrez also said that the gunman's posts on social media "suggested the kids should watch out," the AP reported.
It is unclear which, if any, of the weapons were the ones used at the shooting.
May 18 — The shooter purchased ammunition
The gunman "purchased 375 rounds of ammunition" for the rifle he bought the day before, McCraw said.
May 20 — The shooter bought another semiautomatic rifle
He also "purchased another semiautomatic rifle at that same local store," McCraw said.
May 24, morning — Schoolchildren prepare for end-of-year festivities
Students had been invited to wear "a nice outfit with fun/fancy shoes" as part of the school's end-of-year celebrations, according to a schedule posted on the school's Facebook page. These celebrations included an honor roll award ceremony.
The students at Robb Elementary had two days left in the school year.
Around 11 a.m. — The gunman sent a Facebook message saying he shot his grandmother
The gunman wrote in a Facebook message that he was going to kill his grandmother, DPS Director McCraw said, citing posts seen by the FBI.
"He shot his grandmother," McCraw said at Wednesday's press conference. "He re-reported that he had shot her."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the gunman "shot his grandmother in the face."
The gunman's grandmother then "reported him to the police department when she was able to run across the street to a neighbor and get help," McCraw said, adding that she was in critical condition but is still alive.
Around 11 a.m. — The gunman sent another Facebook message
After shooting his grandmother and writing about it, the gunman sent another Facebook message, McCraw said.
"He reported that he was going to a school to attack it, and he didn't identify the specific school. He did say elementary at that point in time," McCraw said.
Between 11 a.m. and 11:21 a.m., the gunman also told a teenage girl he befriended online that he shot his grandmother and ordered ammunition from the internet, according to text messages obtained by The New York Times.
"I just shot my grandma in her head," the shooter said in a text message to the friend, a 15-year-old in Germany that he met on the social networking app Yubo, The Times reported. "Ima go shoot up a elementary school rn," he added.
11:28 a.m. — The gunman crashes into a ditch near the school
McCraw said the shooter had been living with his grandmother since March 2022, and he used her car to drive approximately two miles, crashing when he was "about a block and a half away from the school."
"He crashed the vehicle at that point in time," McCraw said. "He exited with a backpack. He took a rifle with him."
Eduardo Trinidad, an eyewitness to the aftermath of the crash, told the local outlet KPRC-2 that the vehicle went through a barricade and into a concrete ditch.
Javier Cazares also saw the crash, and he told The Associated Press that the gunman fired at two people outside a nearby funeral home.
11:31 a.m.— The gunman arrives at the school
Public safety officials originally said that an armed school resource officer approached the gunman before he entered the school, and that there was an exchange of gunfire.
On Thursday, however, Victor Escalon, a regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said at a press conference that a school district police officer did not confront the suspect.
"It was reported that a school district police officer confronted the suspect," Escalon said.
"That's not accurate," he added. "[The gunman] walked in unobstructed initially."
In the 12 minutes between arriving at and entering the school, the gunman shot at two funeral workers and the school itself before police showed up.
11:31 a.m.– School resource officer drives past gunman, accidentally confronts teacher instead
Texas law enforcement officers said a school resource officer drove past the 18-year-old gunman outside Robb Elementary School and accidentally confronted a teacher instead.
After a teacher called police to report that the gunman had crashed his vehicle in a ditch at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the gunman then began shooting at the school, Director of Texas Department of Public Safety Steven McCraw told reporters on Friday.
The school resource officer — who was not at Robb Elementary at the time — heard the 911 call and drove to the back of the school. The officer sped over to who he thought was the gunman, but it turned out to be a teacher, McGraw said.
11:33 a.m. – The suspect enters the school
The gunman entered the school through a door that had been left open by a teacher, McCraw said.
Once the gunman entered the school, he "went down a hallway, turned right, then turned left," McCraw said.
"There were two classrooms that were adjoining, and that's where the carnage began," McCraw said.
Speaking to NBC News, Olivarez said that the shooter had "barricaded" himself into a single classroom where all his victims were clustered. Notably, the shooter was able to do this despite the school district's comprehensive security plan, which included police officers and locking doors.
The gunman began shooting into Room 111 or 112 – McCraw said video evidence does not clearly show which one he entered first. Audio evidence suggests he fired about 100 rounds in the classroom.
"He began shooting children, teachers, anybody that was in his way. He was shooting people that were in front of him," Lt. Chris Olivarez told KPRC-2.
11:35 a.m. – Officers arrive at the school
McCraw said Friday three Uvalde police officers entered through the same door as the gunman and exchanged gunfire. They sustained minor injuries.
11:43 a.m. — School officials post notice saying they're on lockdown
"Please know at this time Robb Elementary is under a Lockdown Status due to gunshots in the area. The students and staff are safe in the building. The building is secure in a Lockdown Status," read a notice posted on the school's Facebook page.
Shortly after came another post: "There is an active shooter at Robb Elementary." The school said law enforcement was "on site."
Onlookers urge law enforcement to confront the shooter
Onlookers outside the school reportedly urged police to charge the scene and confront the shooter, even getting so frustrated with the inactivity to the point that they suggested rushing the school themselves.
Javier Cazares, whose fourth-grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, died in the rampage, said he arrived to the scene and saw law enforcement officials waiting outside the building.
"Let's just rush in because the cops aren't doing anything like they are supposed to," he told The Associated Press. "More could have been done. They were unprepared."
A spokesperson from Texas' Department of Public Safety told Insider that it was his "understanding" that "several law enforcement responded and started to make entry into the school to evacuate students, teachers, and staff."
A mother breaks a police line to rescue her kids
Angeli Rose Gomez, a mother of two students at Robb Elementary, ran past a police line and jumped a fence to rescue her children from the school, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Gomez said she drove 40 miles to the school after hearing about the shooting, and found law enforcement just standing outside the school when she got there.
Parents scream at officers to enter the school
Videos uploaded to social media show Texas law enforcement personnel hold back desperate parents as they scream for officers to go into the school.
The footage captures a large group parents in a parking lot, pleading with officers, as school buses and police cars could be seen in the background. Many people are screaming and crying.
It's unclear if the video was taken during or after the shooting.
11:51— Police sergeant and US Border agents start to arrive
Olivarez told NBC News authorities responded "in a moment's notice." On Friday, McCraw said a police sergeant and US Border agents started to arrive at the school.
Border Patrol agents couldn't get into the classroom and were forced to ask a staff member to open the door with a key, an anonymous law enforcement official familiar with the events told The Associated Press.
"At that point, we had a tactical law enforcement team arrive made up of multiple federal officers, local officers as well as state troopers, that were able to make forcible entry into that classroom," Olivarez said.
"They breached it, engaged the active shooter, and continued to keep him pinned down in that location afterwards until a tactical team could be put together," McCraw said, noting the tactical team included border patrol agents, local police officers, and sheriffs.
On Tuesday, McCraw said that the gunman was shot and killed around 40 minutes after his encounter with the school resource officer.
But on Friday, McCraw offered a drastically different version of events, strung together by 911 calls made by students locked inside classrooms during the shooting as officers remained in a hallway. In the span of four days, the Texas authorities have changed their timeline of events five times.
12:03 p.m. – Officers assemble in the hallways
As many as 19 officers start gathering in the hallway outside Rooms 111 and 112, McCraw said Friday.
12:03 p.m. – Students begin to call 911
The 911 calls placed by students suggest the gunfire lasted long after authorities said they arrived to the school.
At an undetermined moment after the gunman entered the school, a brave 10-year-old girl called 911, according to The Daily Beast, who spoke to her grandmother. The girl, Amerie Jo Garza, had just received her award for the school's honor roll, the Beast reported. She did not survive, the outlet reported.
The Uvalde Police Chief said in a Thursday statement that officers responded to the shooting "within minutes," but did not address if those officers actually went inside the school building.
Two UPD officers who responded to the scene were shot by the suspect, Daniel Rodriguez said in the statement, though it's not clear when the pair of officers were shot or if the gunman had already breached the building at the time.
Starting at 12:03 p.m., a student called 911 while inside classroom 112, Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw said on Friday. The call lasted 1 minute and 23 seconds.
The same student called 911 again, and told the operator that multiple students were dead.
The student called 911 a third time.
Officers waited in the hallway until a Border Patrol Tactical Unit arrived at 12:15 p.m.
The student called 911 another time and said that eight to nine students are still alive.
A different student in classroom 111 called 911, and hung up after a classmate advised her to keep quiet.
During that call to 911, McCraw said three shots could be heard over the phone. McCraw said it's believed he was firing at the door. At that point, officers waiting in the hallway moved closer, but had to ask a janitor for keys into the classroom, McCraw said Friday.
A fourth-grade boy who survived the shooting told KENS 5 about the harrowing moments he and his classmates first realized they were under attack. After firing a shot at an adjoining door, the shooter walked into the young boy's classroom, he said.
"He came in and he crouched a little bit and he said, he said 'It's time to die,'" the fourth-grader told the outlet.
The first student who called 911 called back and told the operator that the gunman shot at the door.
Border Patrol Tactical Unit disregarded orders to not engage with the gunman 30 minutes after their arrival on the scene, NBC News reported.
12:50 p.m. — The shooting suspect is killed
"They breached the classroom door. They went in, engaged (the shooter), and killed him at the scene," McCraw said.
Shots were heard over the student's 911 call, as well as the sounds of officers moving children out of the classroom.
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