Timeline of School Shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas

  • On May 24, a shooter opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
  • The horrific shooting left 19 children and two teachers dead.
  • 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 confirmed 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.

March 17 — The shooter purchased a semiautomatic rifle

The gunman, who was 17 at the time, “purchased a semiautomatic rifle at a local sporting goods store,” Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said in a press conference on Wednesday.

March 18 — The shooter purchased ammunition

The gunman “purchased 375 rounds of ammunition” for the rifle he bought the day before, McCraw said.

March 20 — The shooter purchased another semiautomatic rifle

He also “purchased another semiautomatic rifle at that same local store,” McCraw said.

May 16 — The shooter turns 18 and buys assault weapons

The gunman bought two assault weapons after he turned 18, The Associated Press (AP) reported, citing Texas State Sen. Roland Gutierrez. Local outlet KPRC-2, citing city officials, said he was born on May 16, 2004.

On social media, Gutierrez said, the gunman’s posts “suggested the kids should watch out,” per the AP.

It is unclear which, if any, of these weapons were the ones used at the shooting.

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.

May 24, around 11 a.m. — The gunman posted on Facebook and shot his grandmother

The gunman posted on Facebook 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.

May 24, around 11 a.m. — The gunman posted on Facebook again

After shooting his grandmother and posting about it, the gunman posted on Facebook again, 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.

May 24, around 11.30 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 said the gunman fired at two people outside a nearby funeral home, he told The Associated Press.

May 24 — The gunman was approached by a resource officer

After exiting his vehicle, the gunman was approached by a Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District resource officer, McCraw said.

“He went towards the west side of the campus, which has a back door, but as he was approaching…there was a brave resource officer that approached him, engaged him, and at that time, gunfire was not exchanged,” McCraw said. “But the subject was able to make it into the school.”

CNN reported that when the SRO engaged the shooting suspect, he dropped a black bag filled with ammunition and ran into the school.

May 24, 11.43 a.m. — The school goes into 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.”

May 24 — The gunman opens fire

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.

“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. It is not clear at what exact time this took place.

Speaking to NBC News, Olivarez said that the shooter had “barricaded” himself into a single classroom where all his victims were clustered.

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.”

May 24 — A 10-year-old calls 911

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.

May 24 — Law enforcement force their way into the classroom

Insider has not yet verified how quickly law enforcement arrived at the scene, but Olivarez told NBC News authorities responded “in a moment’s notice.”

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.

May 24, 1.06 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.

A Uvalde Police Facebook bulletin previously said the shooter was “in police custody” as of 1:06 p.m. According to Olivarez, police “were able to shoot and kill that suspect,” he told NBC News.

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