(The Hill) — Border Patrol agent Jacob Albarado on Tuesday discussed his experience in rushing the elementary school that was the site of a mass shooting last week in an attempt to save his wife and daughter, who both ultimately survived the attack.
In an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show, Albarado, who was off-duty at the time of the shooting, said that he received a text from his wife, a fourth-grade teacher at Robb Elementary School, that said, “There’s an active shooter. Help. I love you.”
Albarado said he raced to the school in Uvalde, Texas, where 18-year-old Salvador Ramos killed 19 students and two teachers using an assault rifle, in an effort to save his wife, his second-grade daughter and others in his community.
When asked about the scene outside the school during the shooting, which has come under intense scrutiny, Albarado said, “Chaos. Chaos. Everyone was trying to get to the school, people were trying to get everything situated, I was just trying to get toward my wife’s room and my daughter’s room.”
Albarado said that local law enforcement and other members of the Uvalde community recognized him and let him through to help traumatized children climb out of broken windows to escape the school.
“The police were breaking out the windows from the outside and the kids were jumping out through the window,” Albarado said. “As I was coming in, I could just see kids coming out the windows and kids coming my way, so I was just helping all the kids out.”
Albarado, who said he informally sometimes helps coach little league baseball in Uvalde, knew many of the children escaping from the school and said he tried to calm them down as some cried and panicked.
Albarado was brought to tears while discussing his wife’s experience of the situation as two of her fellow fourth-grade teachers were killed.
The Uvalde police force has faced widespread criticism over their response to the shooting after it was revealed that officers waited for over an hour before going into the school building and stopped parents from entering the building.
However, Albarado disagreed with the idea that local police were not working hard enough to save the children inside.
“To me, I believe everyone there was doing the best that they could given the circumstances,” he said.