Uvalde elementary school teacher says she’s traumatized after cops wrongly claimed that she’d propped the door open allowing the gunman, 18, inside where he slaughtered 21
An Uvalde elementary school teacher says she was traumatized and ‘heartbroken’ after police wrongly implied she enabled mass shooter Salvador Rolando Ramos to enter the school by leaving a door propped open.
Police initially claimed Ramos had been able to enter Robb Elementary School, where he massacred 19 children and two teachers, by the back door which they said had been propped open by a rock by teacher Emilia Marin.
It wasn’t until days later that police corrected their statement to confirm that Marin in fact closed the door when she saw the 18-year-old killer approaching, but that the door did not lock as it was intended to.
An attorney for Marin, Don Flanary, told CNN on Friday that those days of blame have left Marin psychologically scarred and seeking neurological treatment.
Emilia Marin, a speech pathology clerk at the Robb Elementary School, who police falsely said failed to close a door and allowed the shooter to enter the building
Children flee to safety after escaping through a window of Robb Elementary school during the mass shooting on May 24
‘She can’t stop shaking,’ Flanary told CNN.
‘It’s traumatic for her when it’s insinuated that she’s involved,’ Flanary said, ‘She’s heartbroken.’
Marin was outside the school helping a co-working bring in food for an end of year party on May 24, when she saw a car crash into a ditch across the street.
She returned inside to call 911, propping the door open with a rock on the way. When she returned back outside, she saw her co-worker running and heard somebody yell ‘he’s got a gun!’ Flanary told CNN.
Marin saw the gunman heading towards her and the door, so she kicked the rock holding it open away and let it swing shut, where by design it was supposed to automatically lock.
Salvador Rolando Ramos, 18, the gunman in the May 24 Robb Elementary School mass shooting
This order of events was confirmed by Travis Considine, chief communications officer for the Texas Department of Public Safety, on May 31.
‘She came back out while on her phone, she heard someone yell, ‘He has a gun!,’ she saw him jump the fence and that he had a gun, so she ran back inside,’ removing the rock when she did,’ Considine said during a press conference.
‘We did verify she closed the door,’ he said. ‘The door did not lock. We know that much and now investigators are looking into why it did not lock.’
Investigators confirmed the detail through additional video footage reviewed since a May 27 news conference when authorities first said that the door had been left propped open.
But those days of implied culpability took a toll on Marin, who according to Flanary had already experienced ‘the most horrific thing anyone could have endured,’
‘She felt alone, like she couldn’t even grieve,’ Flanary told CNN, ‘She second-guessed herself, like ‘did I not do that?”
A memorial for the 21 victims of the May 24 mass shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas
The police line blocking access to the Robb Elementary School after the mass shooting on May 24
‘She heard every gunshot,’ he said, ‘She was in the center of it. She’s just as much of a victim as anyone else that survived in there.’
Flanary said that investigators made a point of letting Marin know that she was not responsible once they fully reviewed security footage.
‘No, we watched the video, you didn’t do anything wrong,’ investigators told Marin, according to Flanary.
But those days between blame and exoneration took their toll on Marin, who Flanary says is seeking neurological treatment to deal with constant shaking.
Despite her suffering, Flanary said that Marin has no plans to take legal action against the school, the school district, or police.
Flanary is however assisting Marin in a potential civil claim against the maker of the weapon used in the attack, Daniel Defense. A petition was filed on Thursday to investigate whether there is a basis to file claims against the company.