By Misty Severi
A mother who ran into Robb Elementary School to rescue her two children during the Uvalde school shooting accused law enforcement of threatening her to keep her from telling her story to the press.
Angeli Gomez said she was threatened by an officer who warned she would be charged with “obstruction of justice” if she did not stop telling her story. The charge would have serious consequences because she was on probation for a crime she said she committed nearly 10 years ago. She added that a local judge said there would be no legal repercussions for telling her story.
Gomez said she had been at the school in Uvalde, Texas, for a graduation ceremony earlier in the day, when she heard that there was a shooting in progress. Gomez hurried back to the school and confronted police officers about why they were not in the school rescuing the children. The incident ended with the mother being arrested by federal agents.
“He said, ‘Well, we’re going to have to arrest you because you’re being very uncooperative,'” Gomez told CBS News. “I said, well you’re going to have to arrest me because I’m going in there. Y’all are standing with snipers and y’all are far away. If y’all don’t go in there, I’m going in there.”
Gomez was released from custody later, and hopped a fence to get into the school, where she rescued her two sons while gunman, Salvador Ramos, was shooting in one of the classrooms. Both of her children survived the shooting, however 19 children and two adults did not. Fourteen others were wounded in the massacre.
“You could hear the gunshots,” Gomez said. “There was not one officer inside the school while I ran to my second son’s class. There was not one officer. They could have saved many more lives. They could have gone into that classroom…they could have done something.”
The police response to the May 24 shooting has been under tight scrutiny as conflicting reports came out in the week following the shooting, including a report that officers waited over an hour for back up while the shooter was still in the school. A decision Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said was the wrong call.
The Department of Justice launched an investigation into the police response last weekend.
“The goal of the review is to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events,” DOJ spokesman Anthony Coley said.
Eighteen-year-old Ramos was killed on the day of the shooting, but authorities found warnings on his social media accounts that he was about to attack a school. Friends and family have described him as a twisted person who enjoyed hurting animals. Ramos shot his grandmother in the face, and sent a message to a friend on the day of the massacre that he was about to shoot up an elementary school. Ramos bought 1,000 rounds of ammunition days before he attacked the school, as soon as he turned 18, according to the Independent.
Funeral services for the 21 victims of the mass shooting began this week and are expected to continue until June 16.