Surveillance footage shows that police never tried to open a door to two classrooms at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde in the 77 minutes between the time a gunman entered the rooms and massacred 21 people and officers finally breached the door and killed him, according to a law enforcement source close to the investigation.
Investigators believe the shooter could not have locked the door to the connected classrooms from the inside.
All classroom doors at Robb Elementary are designed to lock automatically when they close and can only be locked or unlocked from the outside with a key, the source said. Police might have assumed the door was locked. Yet the surveillance footage suggests gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, was able to open the door to classroom 111 and enter with assault-style rifle — perhaps because the door malfunctioned, the source said.
Ramos entered Robb Elementary at 11:33 a.m. that day through an exterior door that a teacher had pulled shut but that didn’t lock automatically as it was supposed to, indicating another malfunction in door locks at the school. Police finally breached the door to classroom 111 and killed Ramos at 12:50 p.m. Whether the door was unlocked the entire time remains under investigation. Regardless, officers had access the entire time to a “halligan” — a crowbar-like tool that could have opened the door to the classrooms even if it was locked, the source said.