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First responders recount “chaos” during Texas shooting: "Fathers smashed windows and pulled kids out"

First responders recount “chaos” during Texas shooting: "Fathers smashed windows and pulled kids out"

Parents were panicking while trying to locate their children outside the school and in ambulances.

Trigger Warning: The following story mentions details about gun violence that might be disturbing to the readers.

The mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, was absolutely inhumane and heartbreaking. Among the chaos, the first responders on the scene revealed some horrific details that included a father smashing through the windows to help the children out. 

As the first responders arrived at the scene they could still hear gunshots from inside the building. Children and teachers were screaming and they were pouring out of all the exits of the schools. Parents of the children were panicking, some were running barefoot while others wore business suits. All of them were trying to rush inside and do whatever they could to try to save their children and locate them in the chaos.



 

 

Ernest "Chip" King, a Uvalde firefighter who was one of the first responders at the scene told PEOPLE, "Fathers smashed windows, and physically pulled their kids out of classrooms. There was a lot of chaos." A police officer who helped students to rush to safety said, "Teachers were doing head counts of their students but there was panic because they couldn't remember which kids had been absent. It was the end of the school year and a lot of kids were missing. I saw one teacher trying not to cry as she asked the kids who had been absent that day."

Firefighters and police officials sought to control the mob of anxious parents, urgently attempting to bring order out of the mayhem. King said, "There was lot of angst and a lot of fear. Parents were wondering where their kids were, trying to find them amidst all the chaos. They were terrified."



 

 

King further said, "We were trying to keep the area secure. We worked with EMS ambulances to get them in and out. There were helicopters overhead." Almost within one hour of the shooting, nearly 500 first responders arrived at the scene from as far as San Antonio which is 85 miles away from the school. 

Rey, an EMT who just wanted to be identified by his first name, said, "I was stabilizing a little girl, she was so tiny. There was blood everywhere. She had been shot in the chest and the shoulder. We were trying to stop the bleeding. I looked at her and I was like 'She's just a baby. Who would shoot a baby?' " 

The mass shooting caused 21 fatalities until now, including 19 children and 2 teachers. According to authorities, the death toll is expected to rise as many people are admitted to hospitals in critical conditions, reports BBC.



 

 

Even as the ambulance drove away from the school, worried parents peered through the windows to make sure that it wasn't their child. Rey described the moment, "A father came up to me and asked in Spanish if it was a boy or a girl inside [the ambulance]. He was looking for his son, and when I told him that it was a girl, he just ran to another ambulance." King said that parents some people told him that there were two places where reunification with children was happening and their kids weren't there. "Unfortunately, they knew exactly what that meant," he added.

Parents sat in the waiting area at Uvalde Memorial Hospital. Rey described the atmosphere of the room by saying, "The energy in that waiting room was so dark, watching people have the worst day of their entire lives." He added, "Everyone in this town will know people who are affected by this, and most people will know many people. We have a lot of healing to do."

Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Brandon Bell 

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