The information I was given through the rumor mill was that members of our (the Border Patrol's) BORTAC team had taken him out. BORTAC, the Border Tactical Unit, is like the SWAT team for the Border Patrol. However, the AP was reporting that it was a lone Border Patrol Agent that had actually done the shooting. (The school where the shooting happened was literally ten minutes from Uvalde Border Station, an interior station an hour or more from the actual Border.)
Both stories seemed plausible. Before I had retired, we (the entire Border Patrol) was doing training on lone shooters of exactly this variety. The old way of doing things was to form a perimeter, then have the tactical unit go in to take the active shooter out. However, this left a lot of time for the active shooter to actively shoot whoever was nearby him. Add to that the fact that a lot of active shooters will decide to commit suicide once they are confronted by law enforcement. So, the new training was to form up with whoever was there first. It could be city, state, or county police and even if there were only two or three of you, then you head on in to confront the bad guy.
The first story then seemed plausible. That a Border Patrol Agent had gone in either on his own, or, with just a couple of local cops.
However, the story I was getting from a former colleague was that it was really our BORTAC team that had taken him out. How was that possible? It would fuel conspiracy theorists for years.
I went online to try to find out what happened. I was certain that if the Border Patrol had indeed given this guy lead poisoning, then there should be a press release on it. I searched on Duckduckgo, and the first story I got was a statement from DHS that we would not be enforcing immigration law in Uvalde, Texas.
DHS Statement on Safety and Enforcement Following Shooting in Uvalde, Texas | Homeland Security, May 25, 2022, also available En Espanol.
In a way, this is nothing new. The Border Patrol and ICE are not allowed by policy to go into churches and schools. Also, we were always taught that when a human life is in danger, immigration law goes out the window and our first duty was to save a life. That's all old. It's been policy since long before I ever signed up. However, for DHS to issue a statement of this nature at a time like this is more reminiscent of Saul Alinsky's saying about never letting a crisis go to waste.
It took a little bit more searching to find, but I found a more accurate description of events here:
Border Patrol Chief Describes Agency Response to Stop Uvalde School Shooter, by Bridget Johnson, HSToday, May 25, 2022
The story above claims that members of our BORTAC unit were in the area because they were investigating stash houses. That makes sense. Despite the administration's war on border enforcement, there are still some Agents and supervisors trying to do their jobs. Because of the great increase in migrants coming across the border, the Cartels have more stash houses on the U.S. side of the border. BORTAC being called in to go after these stash houses makes sense. They are good at doing these raid type of deals. That makes the fact that they were in the area when the shooting started a whole lot more plausible.
The Agents in the shooting will be on administrative leave as their cases are investigated to make sure the shooting was legitimate. We all know it was, but it has to undergo the same process as if it were a questionable shooting. All cases get treated alike. In the meantime, those Agents might feel temporarily like heroes, but they also just saw a room full of dead 10 year olds, dead teachers, and a whole lot of wounded presumably crying children. That memory will be seared into their brains for the rest of their lives.
They deserve whatever accolades they will be given.
(But, Mayorkas wants you to know we will not be enforcing immigration laws in Uvalde.)