Uvalde teacher says incorrect accusation she left door open left her ‘heartbroken’
A Robb Elementary School teacher, who has been at the center of the Uvalde shooting timeline after Texas officials issued initial statements saying she left a door “propped open,” was reportedly “heartbroken” by the insinuation that officials later said was incorrect.
In interviews with reporters, the teacher’s lawyer Don Flanary said that the incorrect accusations that she left the door open have left his client “shaken” and made her want to come forward with her story.
“She felt alone, like she couldn’t even grieve,” Flanary told CNN. “She second-guessed herself, like ‘did I not do that?’” he added.
Her lawyer told ABC News that it was heartbreaking and “traumatic for her when it’s insinuated that she’s involved.”
Flanary told reporters that the teacher had stepped out to bring in food when she saw a car crash and propped the door open with a rock while she went to grab her phone to call 911. When she walked back out, she saw the gunman and kicked the rock and shut the door.
“[Someone] yelled, ‘He’s got a gun,” the teacher told NewsNation in an interview. “I ran back into my building. I still had the rock in the door. So, I opened the door, kicked the rock, and then locked [the door],” she added.
Originally, police said the teacher had left the door open, which is one of a number of details that have been adjusted or corrected by investigators in an evolving and changing timeline in the week since the tragedy.
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) initially said a teacher had propped the door open shortly before the gunman, Salvador Ramos, 18, entered the school.
They later walked back the statement and said the teacher had propped the door open with a rock, but then removed it and closed the door when she realized there was a shooter on campus, Travis Considine, chief communications officer for the Texas DPS, told The Associated Press.
While the door was designed to lock when shut, it didn’t do so in this instance, Considine said.
“We did verify she closed the door. The door did not lock. We know that much and now investigators are looking into why it did not lock,” Considine said.
There has been criticism since the school shooting in Uvalde over whether authorities responded quickly enough to the threat and have called out some law enforcement officials for conflicting reports, statements being changed or corrected and a lack of transparency over what exactly took place at the school.
School district police Chief Pete Arredondo has also been under scrutiny after Texas DPS head Steven McCraw said he made the “wrong decision” to not order officers to breach the classroom as 911 calls were being made to the outside.