One mother whose children attend Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, recounted on Thursday the shocking story of what happened when she arrived at the school as the gunman was inside murdering students and teachers.
After hearing about the active shooter situation, Angeli Rose Gomez, a farm supervisor, rushed 40 miles to the school, where her children are in second and third grade.
When she arrived at the school, Gomez said she was shocked by inaction from police officers.
"The police were doing nothing," Gomez told the Wall Street Journal. "They were just standing outside the fence. They weren’t going in there or running anywhere."
Gomez was one of dozens of parents who rushed to Robb Elementary and pleaded with police officers to enter the school, neutralize the gunman, and save the innocent lives inside. But shocking videos show a massive police presence outside the school blocking outraged parents from doing what police were not. In the case of Gomez, police allegedly detained her.
Gomez said that an officer with the U.S. Marshals placed her in handcuffs, arresting her for "intervening in an active investigation," the Journal reported.
However, she told the newspaper that local Uvalde police officers, whom she knew, freed her. She then scaled the fence surrounding the school, rushed into the building, and sprinted out with her children.
The chaotic scene outside the school, which has circulated on social media, included officers who allegedly used a taser and pepper spray against other parents, Gomez claimed.
What did the US Marshals say?
A spokesperson for the federal law enforcement agency denied that any parent was placed in handcuffs.
"Our deputy marshals maintained order and peace in the midst of the grief-stricken community that was gathering around the school," the spokesperson told the Journal.
Significant questions have arisen over law enforcement's response to the massacre.
Texas police admitted Thursday the gunman entered the school unabated, that he was in the school for up to an hour before police engaged him, and he was actually outside the school firing shots for 12 minutes before he ever entered the school, the Journal reported.
Texas DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez explained on Thursday the large amount of time that elapsed before police engaged the gunman was because responding officers "could have been shot — they could have been killed."
"So they were able to contain that gunman inside that classroom so that he was not able to go to any other portions of the school to commit any other killings," Olivarez said.