The cop husband of one of the teachers slain in the Texas school massacre had desperately tried to rescue his shot wife — but was instead detained and had his gun taken away, according to harrowing testimony about the “abject failure” of the response.
Ruben Ruiz, an officer with the school police department in Uvalde, Texas, had been driven to Robb elementary by a sergeant as soon as alerts came in of the May 14 mass shooting that also left 19 children dead.
Ruiz immediately alerted others that he had “got a call from his wife,” Eva Mireles, 44, who was “in room 112 and later died,” Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told a special state Senate hearing.
“He notes that she’s been shot — he’s talking about his wife,” McCraw said of the officer, who had recently held active-shooter drills at crazed gunman Salvador Ramos’ own high school.
“And what happened to him, is he tried to move forward into the hallway … He was detained, and they took his gun away from him and escorted him off the scene,” McCraw said. He did not mention which of the many departments at the scene had done so.
At least one of the kids in the blood-soaked classroom had begged for help saving Mireles during one of several 911 calls made during the slaughter, pleading, “Send help for my teacher, she is shot but still alive.”
However, Ruiz’s wife later died alongside fellow teacher Irma Garcia and 19 of their students as police waited more than an hour to storm the adjoined classrooms.
Ruiz was prevented from acting at the same time as desperate parents outside the building clashed with cops preventing them from storming inside and trying to rescue their kids themselves.
His message about his wife being shot and injured was also one of several alerts that made clear that Ramos — who turned 18 and bought his arsenal just a week before his slaughter — was still a threat, the hearing heard.
McCraw gave a damning indictment of the response, insisting that there were enough officers and firepower on the scene to have stopped the gunman three minutes after he entered the building.
Instead, police with rifles and ballistic shields stood in a hallway for over an hour, waiting in part for a key to the classroom that was not even locked, he said in the most detailed timeline to date.
He ripped the “terrible decisions” of Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde school district police chief who McCraw said was in charge, saying the response “set our profession back a decade.”
“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering Room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” he said.