Border Patrol agents responded to the scene at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and helped take down the gunman who shot and killed 19 students and two teachers on May 24, authorities say.
Law enforcement in Uvalde have faced extensive criticism for their delayed response to the shooting. Officers took more than one hour to kill the gunman, and that lapse in time will likely be a key part of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation, the Associated Press reported.
A Facebook post shared more than 90,000 times claims Border Patrol Agent Jacob Albarado, who was off-duty and about to get a haircut when the shooting occurred, “went into the school despite the police chief who ordered all to stand down.” The post goes on to claim that Albarado rescued his daughter, wife and other children at the elementary school, and shot and killed the gunman.
Another tweet claims that Albarado killed the shooter. VERIFY reader Julie sent the Facebook post to the team and asked: “Is this true?”
Did off-duty Border Patrol Agent Jacob Albarado shoot and kill the Uvalde school shooter?
- Comments from Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw during May 25 press conference
- Marsha Espinosa, Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs for the Department of Homeland Security
- CBS News interview with Border Patrol Agent Jacob Albarado
- TODAY show interview with Albarado
No, off-duty Border Patrol Agent Jacob Albarado didn’t shoot and kill the Uvalde school shooter. He did rush to Robb Elementary School and helped law enforcement evacuate children.
WHAT WE FOUND
Off-duty Border Patrol Agent Jacob Albarado didn’t shoot and kill the 18-year-old gunman inside Robb Elementary School. A tactical team made up of Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement officers ultimately “breached the classroom door” and killed the gunman at the scene, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said during a press conference on May 25.
Albarado confirmed during an interview with CBS News that he did not shoot the gunman at Robb Elementary School, though he did help evacuate students from the building.
“I didn’t shoot the guy. I wasn’t in the room with him, shooting the guy. I never said I shot him, so I’d like to clarify that as well,” he said.
In an earlier interview with TODAY show host Savannah Guthrie, Alabarado clarified that he did not confront the gunman in the elementary school, either.
“At one point…I was there at the door, fixing to go in. But, once again, I didn’t have any of my gear. It wouldn’t have been a smart move for me,” he told Guthrie. “All those guys had their gear and stuff so, like I said, I pulled back.”
Border Patrol agents and other officers faced gunfire from the shooter when they entered the school building, Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Marsha Espinosa said in a tweet on the day of the shooting.
“At least one Border Patrol agent was wounded by the shooter during the exchange of gunfire,” Espinosa wrote. “On-and-off duty Border Patrol agents arrived on the scene to assist with transferring students safely to their families and providing medical support.”
The authorities who shot and killed the gunman have not been named.
RELATED: Yes, there were more children killed in school shootings this year than on-duty law enforcement officers killed by gunfire
Though Facebook has flagged the widely shared post as “missing context,” other details included in it are accurate, according to Albarado’s account of the day.
Albarado was off-duty and about to get a haircut when he and his barber received text messages about the shooting, he told CBS News. He said his wife, who teaches fourth grade at Robb Elementary, texted him, “Active shooter. Help. I love you.” Alabarado’s daughter also attends the school, he said.
Though he was off-duty, Albarado asked the barber if he had a gun, which he did, and both of them rushed to the elementary school – where his daughter was locked in a restroom, he said.
Once he made it to the scene, Albarado said he let police know he was there and helped to evacuate students. His wife made it to safety before he arrived.
“I said, ‘We need to get the kids out here,’” Albarado told CBS News. “The shooter’s over there. We need to get the kids out. This is our time.”
Officers began opening classroom doors, and Albarado continued helping students to safety, he said.
“First classroom, second classroom, third classroom, saw my daughter. Relief. Big relief,” he added.
While he was evacuating students, Albarado didn’t know where the shooter was, he told Guthrie.
VERIFY also reached out to the Texas Department of Safety and Border Patrol’s sector in Del Rio, Texas for comment but has not received a response at the time of publishing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.