Dad whose daughter, 9, was killed in Texas shooting begged police to 'go in and do your jobs'

Newly released police communication reveals they almost certainly knew children had been injured or killed, raising further questions about why they didn't storm the school immediately, as ITV News US Correspondent Robert Moore reports

A father whose daughter was killed in the Texas school massacre has recounted how he and other frantic parents urged police to "do your jobs" as the gunman was opening fire on their children's classroom.

Javier Cazares raced to his daughter Jacklyn's school when he heard there was a shooting, leaving his truck running with the door open as he ran into Robb Elementary's grounds.

He spent the next 35 to 45 agonising minutes scanning traumatised children fleeing the primary school with the help of officers for his nine-year-old “firecracker,” Jackie.

Desperate to run in himself, he and other parents grew increasingly distressed that the officers weren't doing more to stop the gunman who was holed up in the fourth-grade classroom for almost an hour.

Joe and Jill Biden visiting a memorial to Jackie Cazares and the other victims of the shooting. Credit: AP

“A lot of us were arguing with the police - ‘You all need to go in there. You all need to do your jobs,’” said Cazares, an army veteran.

“We were ready to go to work and rush in.”

About 15 to 20 minutes after he got to the school, he said he spotted officers arriving with heavy shields for the first time.

“From what I saw, things could have been a lot different," he said.

Javier Cazares called his daughter his 'firecracker'. Credit: AP

His comments came after police admitted it was "the wrong decision" for officers to wait outside the classroom for almost an hour before entering and killing gunman Salvador Ramos.

The United States Justice Department is investigating the response to the shooting which killed Jackie and 18 other children and their two teachers.

Video footage taken during the hour the 18-year-old gunman was inside the classroom showed parents screaming and begging police to go in, while 911 calls from pupils suggest some were still alive.

Mr Cazares said he left school before officers killed Ramos at 12.50pm and rushed to the hospital because his niece said she'd seen Jackie in an ambulance.

The entire family gathered there, pressing hospital staff for information for nearly three hours. Finally, a pastor, a police officer and a doctor met with them.

“My wife asked the question, ‘Is she alive or is she passed?’” Mr Cazares said.

“They were like: ‘No, she’s gone.’”

When he was finally able to see his daughter's body, Mr Cazares vowed that her death would not be in vain.

Jackie was one of 19 children killed in the shooting. Credit: AP

“She could be feisty,” he said, about his daughter who loved gymnastics, singing and dancing.

“It kind of comforts our hearts that she would be one of the ones that was brave and tried to help as much as she could.”

Ramos' first victim in the deadly attack was his grandmother Celia "Sally" Gonzalez, 66, who he shot in the face at her home where the gunman had been staying for several months.

Ms Gonzalez's cousin, Jason Ybarra, revealed she may never be able to talk again and is currently communicating by writing things down.

“The bullet went into Sally’s jaw just next to her mouth and shattered all her teeth,” Mr Ybarra told the New York Post.

“If the bullet was an inch in another direction, it would have blown her head off,” he said.

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The grandmother has undergone several operations and will need numerous more to help her recovery.

Ramos launched his deadly attack shortly after shooting his grandmother and sped off in the family's truck, crashing outside the school just before 11.30am.

Minutes later, at 11.33am, he enters the school and begins opening fire in a classroom before officers entered and shot him dead at 12.50pm.

Newly released police communication suggests officers knew children had been injured or killed while they waited outside.

Teachers and children repeatedly called 911 asking for help, including a girl who pleaded, “please send the police now."

The US said it is investigating the police's response to the attack. Credit: AP

Nearly 20 officers stood outside the classroom for 48 minutes before US border patrol agents used a master key to open the locked door, shooting Ramos dead.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said on Friday that the commander had assumed it was no longer an active shooter situation and that Ramos was barricaded inside, but he added "there were in fact children in the classroom".

Director Steven McCraw said there was a barrage of gunfire shortly after Ramos entered the classroom but that shots were “sporadic” for much of the 48 minutes officers waited outside the hallway.

He said investigators do not know if or how many children died during those 48 minutes.