Border agent who joined team that killed Uvalde shooter was off duty at Barber shop when wife called

A girl lays flowers at a makeshift memorial at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 28, 2022. | CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Amid the aftermath of the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Texas, where a Latino teenager shot and killed 19 children and two teachers, there are reports of the heroic efforts of U.S. Border Patrol agent Jacob Albarado. Off duty and at a barbershop when his wife texted him about a threat to her life and their daughter from an active shooter, Albarado borrowed a shotgun from his barber and rushed to the school.

“There’s an active shooter,” his wife, Trisha, wrote in the text message she sent. “Help. I love you.”

As Albarado reached Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Tuesday morning, he found a tactical team trying to enter the wing where the gunman was holed up, The New York Times reported, adding that he promptly planned with the other officers to first evacuate as many children as possible with two officers providing him cover and two others guiding the children out on the sidewalk.

Jacob Albarado and his wife, Trisha, in this undated photo. | Screenshot: Facebook

Albarado recalled that his daughter was locked inside a bathroom and his wife was hiding underneath a desk with students.

“I’m looking for my daughter, but I also know what wing she’s in. So I start clearing all the classes in her wing,” he was quoted as saying. “They were just all hysterical, of course.”

When he saw his 8-year-old daughter, Jayda, he hugged her, but then continued to help move the other children along.

About 80 Border Patrol agents responded to the shooting, The Wall Street Journal reported. “Initially, the Bortac (Border Patrol Tactical Unit ) agents couldn’t get into the classroom because of a steel door and cinder block construction,” the Journal said. “Meanwhile, the gunman … shot at them through the door and walls.”

The suspect was holed up in a fourth-grade classroom where he killed 19 children and two teachers.

There has been an outpouring of grief since the shooting.

On Sunday, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will go to Uvalde to “grieve with the family and the community.”

“He’s going to go clearly on Sunday to offer his comfort to grieve with the family and the community. But at the same time, he is going to call on Congress to take action because it's been too long and now is the time to act,” White House Press Secretary Karin Jean-Pierre told the press corps last week. 

After the shooting, Biden advocated for stricter gun laws in a speech to the nation. “Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it and stand up to the lobbies? It’s time to turn this pain into action,” he said.

According to media reports, the shooter was in the school’s hallways at 11:40 a.m., and he was killed by the agents more than an hour later, at 12:58 p.m., which had led to severe criticism of law enforcement.

The officer in charge on the scene, identified as Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo, believed that the shooter was “a barricaded suspect” with no one else alive in the classroom, but 911 calls showed that many children were still alive at the time, The Epoch Times reported, citing a statement by Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw. 

The decision to wait was “a bad decision, and that decision cost lives,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican, said on “Fox & Friends.”

Two days after praising law enforcement, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday said he was “livid” after being misled.

“I was misled. I am livid about what happened,” Abbott said at a press conference at Uvalde High School, The Washington Times reported.

“I was on this very stage two days ago and I was telling the public information that had been told to me in a room just a few yards behind where we’re located right now,” he said. “I wrote down hand notes in detail about what everybody in that room told me, in sequential order, about what happened. When I came out here on this stage and told the public what happened, it was a recitation of what people in that room told me.”

Abbott added, “My expectation is that the law enforcement leaders that are leading the investigations, which includes the Texas Rangers and the FBI, they get to the bottom of every fact with absolute certainty.

“Texas stands with Uvalde for the long term in helping every single person in this community be able to piece their lives back together, to heal as much as they possibly can. We will be here as long as it takes.

“We’re not going to be here talking about it and do nothing about it. We will be looking for the best laws we can get passed to make communities safe.”

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