One of 19 children killed at Robb Elementary School dreamed of becoming a police officer so he could ‘protect people’, his uncle says – making it all the more painful that law enforcement failed him protected.
Jose Flores Jr., 10, was shot and killed along with 18 other children and two teachers when a gunman opened fire on the school in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday. His uncle, Christopher Salazar, 33, spoke to People about the cruel irony of his nephew’s ambitions.
“He wanted to protect people,” Salazar said. “He wanted to be an officer to protect and serve people – and not like the officers here at Uvalde.”
The grieving uncle added, “They didn’t even protect him. They had all these officers there and none of these officers came in.
Salazar previously said that Jose was a “very happy” kid who “loved going to school”.
Police are facing charges of cowardice and a disastrously failed response to the shooting. Public officials and law enforcement provided changing and sometimes conflicting accounts of what happened.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Colonel Steven McCraw told a press conference on Friday that it was “the wrong decision” for more than a dozen police officers to wait outside the locked door leading to two connected classrooms where the shooter was. McCraw added that officers believed there was no danger to the children inside.
But at the same time, kids in the classrooms were desperately calling 911 for help and the shooter kept shooting. Some of the children from both classes survived, including a girl who smeared herself with a classmate’s blood and played dead to escape the attention of the shooter.
Ultimately, Border Patrol tactical agents unlocked the door with a key obtained from a janitor, then shot and killed the shooter, according to The New York Times.