The media attention and political fallout from the Buffalo shooting was still going on when the next gun massacre was already unfolding.
As with the case of Peyton Gendron in the Buffalo shooting, this was another 18 year-old – this time, Salvador Ramos, who apparently used an AR-15 rifle to massacre children in a school in Uvalde, Texas.
Right-wing misinformation enthusiasts and Q-Anon cultists on the web were immediate in labelling Uvalde a false-flag attack (which might or might not have merit), but – predictably – also added their usual torrent of untruths and disinfo: such as claiming the shooter was an illegal immigrant or that he was transgender. These things have been generally debunked: and would essentially be mostly irrelevant anyway.
But, even putting aside all the usual right-wing or ultra-Conservative untruths and exploitation, there is certainly more than enough in this Uvalde school shooting horror story to suggest – at the *very least* – a withholding or falsifying of information by official sources.
There is also enough to at the *very least* raise the question of whether this was, if not a straight-up false-flag op, then a state-enabled act or an act involving some degree of undisclosed collusion.
For once, even the mainstream media outlets have been honest about questioning holes in the narrative: most of all, the widely reported (and widely criticised) delay in the shooter being confronted by police.
This delay was widely reported to have lasted over 40 minutes – in which the shooter was able to murder defenseless children in a classroom.
During this time, according to reports, not only was the shooter not stopped or even engaged by the armed officers on the scene, but distraught parents and onlookers were desperately urging the officers to intervene: and became so stunned by the police’s inaction that some of them wanted to enter the classroom and confront the shooter themselves (some of them even being handcuffed by officers when they tried to go to the aid of the children).
As CBS reported: ‘Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman’s rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes…’
As The Guardian reported, ‘About “40 minutes or so” elapsed from when the gunman opened fire on the school security officer, entered the school through a back door and when the border patrol team shot him, the Texas department of public safety director, Steve McCraw, told a news briefing…’
Giving an example of one of the parents’ ordeals, it reports on ‘Javier Cazares, whose fourth-grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was killed in the attack,’ and said ‘he raced to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving while police were still massed outside the building.’
What were the police doing? They could claim that caution was being exercised and the level of threat assessed… but should that have stopped them at least *attempting* to get to where the shooter was, knowing that children and teachers were essentially at his mercy?
Steven P. McCraw, director of the Department of Public Safety, said in a public statement ‘that the commander on the scene decided that the gunman had shifted from an active shooter to a “barricaded subject,” so they made no efforts to break down the door and get inside…’
This distinction between Ramos going from ‘active shooter’ to ‘barricaded subject’ is curious, given that he appeared to still be actively shooting his victims during the reportedly 40 minutes in which he was left unconfronted.
Also, there are apparently clearly established protocols to storm schools immediately in the event of an active shooter situation: so the reported delay seems to have been actively in contradiction of those protocols.
According to the generally reported timeline (based on official accounts), the shooter arrived at 11.28am… and, according to reports, ‘entered the ‘fourth-grade classrooms packed with nine, 10 and 11-year-olds, overseen by two teachers, at 11.33am…’
But we are also told that ‘At 12.03pm, a girl called 911 and whispered that she was inside the classroom with the gunman.’ And also that ‘The girl called 911 twice more, talking of multiple dead but also children still alive…’
Even after this, we’re told that ‘A further 34 minutes passed before border patrol agents arrived, entered the classroom and killed Ramos, approximately 80 minutes after he had entered the school…’
To be fair here, these are extreme and intense, high-pressure scenarios we’re talking about: police and authorities are not infallible or superhuman. Mistakes can be made: and human error is bound to occur in many cases. All of this could’ve been – as is widely argued – a case of misjudgements made during a high-pressure situation.
But in a place where armed law-enforcement and response units are so prevalent, it’s always going to look very strange to see that level of hesitation or delay: especially where the civilians at immediate risk are specifically children.
The scenario in fact began to look more and more suspicious the more that public statements were delivered.
As the Washington Post noted, ‘Officials, who are facing mounting questions about the police response to the massacre, have offered varied timelines and explanations of the massacre and law enforcement’s response. They have also made sometimes inconsistent or contradictory announcements about key details, such as how the shooter entered the school or how long he was inside. They have even withdrawn some claims outright...’
In fact, the Washington Post piece from May 26th points out just how many contradictions and/or retractions there have been in the official accounts of what happened at the school in Uvalde.
That degree of conflicting information and holes in the narrative inevitably arouses suspicion.
Because, rightly or wrongly, what it *looks* like is that the shooter was *allowed* to carry out the killings: given the window of time he needed to do so, before being apparently shot dead (only after 19 children and two teachers had been murdered).
There were more suspicious items in the accounts too.
It was reported that, at the time the shooter apparently arrived (11.28am) ‘video shows a teacher entering the school through a door that the teacher had emerged from and propped open moments earlier… That door was usually closed and locked, according to the school security protocol, but was ajar...’
This statement was also subsequently corrected many days later: with official accounts now being that the teacher did *not* leave the door propped open. This initial claim about video footage showing a teacher leaving the door open has drawn some criticism, as it was perceived to be an attempt to shift some of the blame or culpability onto a teacher.
As far as I know, said video footage hasn’t been made public, at any rate.
There’s also a question about the shooter’s *motive*: or the lack thereof. Unlike the Buffalo shooter, who was clearly driven by white supremacist ideology and online ‘culture war’ indoctrination, the Uvalde school shooter doesn’t appear to have any discernible motive – at least not one that has been reported. Ramos was of Latino ethnicity – as were most of his child victims.
Not that motive is everything – he could’ve been completely unhinged (some reports suggest he had been bullied during his time at that school). But it’s strange that someone would carry out such an evil act – massacring children – and know that it would end either in his own death or life imprisonment: and yet not have any motive or any misguided sense of higher purpose. Nothing ideological: or even some kind of discernable personal grudge.
But officials and the media have appeared completely unable to speculate on what the shooter’s motive could’ve been. ITV, for example, says ‘Ramos had no known mental illness and no criminal history.’ And adds, rather strangely, ‘He is the killer who came from nowhere.’
It’s also interesting that he (eventually – after a long delay) ended up being shot dead: whereas the Buffalo shooter was taken alive. This is generally how it goes: white shooters are generally captured alive (Peyton Gendron and the Church shooter Dylaan Roof, for example), while black or perceived ethnic-minority shooters tend to end up dead (the mind-controlled Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis, for example, Dallas shooter Micah Johnson, or Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooter Omar Mateen).
Those are relevant citations, because in both the Aaron Alexis and Omar Mateen cases there was strong enough evidence that the perpetrators were under some level of control, and in the latter case in particular (the Pulse nightclub massacre) there was a strong case to be made for a degree of higher-up collusion in the crime.
Whether there was any such collusion in the Uvalde killings is of course unclear. But there’s plenty of grounds for suspicion: beginning with the glaring question of why no one with the power to do so seemed to be in any hurry to rush to the aid of those children and their teachers.