May 26, 2022 9:39pm
Updated: May 26, 2022 10:08pm
Texas Democrat Rep. Joaquin Castro on Thursday sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding the federal agency investigate "conflicting accounts" from state officials about the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school massacre.
Nineteen children and two teachers were killed on Tuesday when officials allege that 18-year-old Uvalde High School student Salvador Ramos entered the school with an AR-15 and opened fire.
Castro's letter comes as witnesses say law enforcement waited at least 40 minutes to enter the elementary school to stop the attack.
Texas officials have given different accounts of the attack.
For example, Texas Tribune reporter Zach Despart observed that Texas Department of Public Safety Commissioner Steve McCraw said on May 25 that a school security officer "engaged" the gunman, who continued into the school.
The next day, DPS Regional Director Victor Escalon said the suspect "walked in unobstructed initially."
Castro also pointed out how there are conflicting reports as to whether "the school security officer and the gunman exchanged fire outside the school" and how "long law enforcement officers were in adjoining classrooms while the gunman barricaded himself in a classroom with students and teachers."
The representative stressed, "Moreover, a block of time between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time has yet to be fully accounted for. Onlookers allege that parents unsuccessfully urged law enforcement to enter the building during this time and confront the shooter."
While officials said police were at the school minutes after the gunman entered, eyewitnesses gave particularly distressing accounts of the situation.
Angeli Rose Gomez, who has children in second and third grade at Robb, told The Wall Street Journal that she was arrested for urging officers to enter the school.
"They were just standing outside the fence. They weren't going in there or running anywhere," she said.
She was one of many parents urging law enforcement to stop the attacker, but eventually she said U.S. marshals arrested her for interfering in an active investigation.
"I urge the FBI to use its maximum authority to thoroughly examine the timeline of events and the law enforcement response and to produce a full, timely, and transparent report on your findings," Castro wrote in his letter to Wray. "Your agency must ensure that the American people have a complete and comprehensive account of how this tragedy occurred."