In the hour it took law enforcement officials to finally confront and kill a shooter as he went on a deadly rampage inside of an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, terrified children made desperate 911 calls begging the police to help them.
Texas officials on Friday described several calls made to 911 during the shooting, at least two of which were made by children hiding inside their classrooms at Robb Elementary.
One child called 911 at least an hour after the shooting began, saying, "Please send the police now."
At least two of the students who made the 911 calls survived the shooting, officials said.
The 911 calls were made over a period of around 40 minutes while Uvalde police made the "wrong decision" to treat the situation as a "barricaded subject" and not as "an active shooter," Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw told reporters Friday.
That wrong decision led to the gunman killing 19 children, most of them fourth-graders, along with two of their teachers.
The police chief, who was the on-site commander, "was convinced" that the gunman had barricaded himself inside a classroom and that "there was no more threat to the children," McCraw said.
That's why, even though there were at least 19 armed police officers inside the building during the shooting, none of them tried to stop the gunman for more than an hour after he fired the first shots.
"Of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision,” McCraw said.
McCraw described an excruciating series of 911 calls made by people hiding inside the classrooms after the gunman first fired at least 100 rounds inside classroom 111 or 112 at 11:33 a.m. on Tuesday.
The first 911 call from inside the school came at 12:03 p.m. from a child who whispered that she was in Room 112. Seven minutes later, she called back to say multiple people had died. At 12:16 p.m., she told 911 that eight to nine students were alive.
At 12:19 p.m., another 911 call was made by a "female" in Room 111 who hung up after another student told her to do so. At 12:21 p.m., three shots could be heard over a 911 call.
At 12:36 p.m., the first child called 911 back to tell dispatchers that the gunman had shot the door. She was told to stay on the line and be very quiet.
During the 21-second call, the child asked 911 twice to "please send the police now."
At 12:46 p.m., she said she could hear police officers next door. Four minutes later, shots being fired were heard on the call.
A minute later, "loud sounds" that appeared to be from officers moving children out of the class were heard on the call.
The child appeared to be led outside the classroom before the call was cut, officials said.