Police in Uvalde, Texas, never attempted to unlock the door to two classrooms where a gunman shot and killed 21 people on May 24, the San Antonio Express-News reported Saturday.
The police may have thought the door to the classrooms was locked because the school’s doors lock automatically, an anonymous law enforcement source close to the investigation told the San Antonio Express-News, citing surveillance tapes.
However, due to a possible malfunction, the door might have actually been open.
It took authorities over an hour before they stormed into Robb Elementary School classrooms and killed the shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos. Ramos killed 19 schoolchildren and two teachers during the attack.
Uvalde School District Police Chief Pedro Arredondo was in the hallway for over an hour as he awaited tactical gear, a sniper and keys to the classrooms, according to The Texas Tribune.
When he finally got the keys, Arredondo was unsuccessful in getting any of them to work.
“Each time I tried a key I was just praying,” Arredondo told The Texas Tribune.
Despite schoolchildren repeatedly calling 911 during Ramos’ rampage, the officers failed to enter the classroom. Parents were also handcuffed and pepper-sprayed as they attempted to storm the school to save their children.