An 11-year-old girl who survived the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday says the gunman started playing music after he started killing.
The girl, who says she survived after smearing a friend’s blood on herself so the shooter would think that she was already dead, told CNN producer Nora Neus that the shooter made eye contact with the teacher, said “goodnight,” and then killed her. He then fired on others, killing some of her friends, and made his way into an adjoining classroom.
“Mia could hear screams, she heard a lot more gunfire, and then she says she heard music. She thinks it was the gunman that put it on. He started blasting sad music” said Neus, who then asked Mia to elaborate on what type of music she heard. “She just said, ‘I want people to die’ music.”
The little girl, who says she wanted to share her story to help others, is the latest survivor to speak out on what has become the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. While authorities are still trying to piece together a timeline and explain why it took so long to stop the shooter, first-hand accounts from those inside have painted a disturbing portrait of the unspeakable violence those inside the school went through.
“When I heard the shooting through the door, I told my friend to hide under something so he won’t find us,” a fourth-grade boy who survived told local outlet KENS-5. “I was hiding hard. And I was telling my friend to not talk because he is going to hear us.”
“When the cops came, the cop said: ‘Yell if you need help!’ And one of the persons in my class said ‘help.’ The guy overheard and he came in and shot her,” the boy said. “The cop barged into that classroom. The guy shot at the cop. And the cops started shooting.”
Officials say it took close to an hour for them to stop the shooter, and thus far, the reasons why remain murky. Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw said Friday that police were waiting for tactical backup before breaching the classroom where the shooter had barricaded himself. He also said the police were wrong to do so.
“The incident commander inside believed they needed more equipment and more officers to do a tactical breach of that point,” McCraw explained, noting that they had immediately called for backup and then executed a “dynamic entry” when it arrived.
McCraw went on to note that, in an active shooter situation, it is protocol to go after the shooter whether you have backup or not.
“By the way, Texas embraces active shooter training, active shooter certification. That doctrine requires officers, we don’t care what agency you are from you don’t have to have a leader on the scene,” he said. “Every officer lines, up stacks up, goes and finds where the rounds are being fired at, and keeps shooting to the subject is dead, period.”