New facts are still emerging about the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, even months later. CNN today reports that Uvalde County Sheriff Ruben Nolasco "rushed" toward the scene upon learning of the unfolding incident, but then"chose to stay at a different crime scene, already under control" and later failed to take action upon his eventual arrival as would be expected given his seniority.
He did not take charge when he did arrive and did not ensure that cries for help from girls trapped with injured classmates and teachers were acted on.
An elected leader answering only to voters, he has not been subject to the same scrutiny as the school police chief – now fired; the acting city police chief – now retired before he could be fired; and members of the Texas Rangers and the Texas Department of Public Safety, who have all faced official scrutiny, leading to suspensions and at least one termination.
Moreover, CNN reports that he claimed to have not arrived for 35 minutes, but bodycam footage proves he arrived in 16 minutes.
Faced with repeated questions about his response in a recent interview with CNN, Nolasco defended himself and insisted that he wasn't at the school "for the first 35 minutes, at least the first 35 minutes" of the 77-minute standoff. He told the investigator he "had a good reason" for the delay, saying he stayed to arrange the EMS transport, persuaded a neighbor to get off the street while the shooter was loose and then made some calls. But CNN analysis of body cameras shows Nolasco was on scene at the school by 11:49 a.m., just 16 minutes after the gunman went inside.
Worse still, he knew the name of the shooter but did not share it with other officers:
When the female victim said she'd been shot by her grandson, Nolasco asked for and got the gunman's name. CNN analysis of radio traffic as well as footage from body-worn and surveillance cameras indicates the name – which CNN is not repeating so as not to fuel his notoriety – was not immediately shared with officers at the school, even as they sought that information through other means.
The more we learn, the worse it will get, and the learnin's barely begun.