Uvalde funeral attendant who encountered gunman says he tried to go after shooter, was held back

 

UVALDE, TexasCody Briseno, a funeral attendant who works throughout the road from the location of the state’s deadliest college capturing, was one of many first individuals to encounter the gunman on May 24.

Briseno had rushed to assist after the shooter’s pickup crashed exterior Robb Elementary School, however fled after seeing the 18-year-old with an “evil look” holding a rifle.

In an unique interview with NBC News, Briseno, who has helped bury a number of of the victims, together with a relative, described the encounter and the way he was ready to cost the shooter after his spouse introduced him his gun, however was informed by arriving officers to back away.

“Hey, what are you doing,” an officer requested as Briseno started to march towards the varsity, he stated. He recollects responding, “I’m going to go in and check out to cease them.”

As police who responded to the 77-minute assault, which ended with 19 youngsters and two academics lifeless, face criticism concerning the delayed confrontation, they’re additionally being admonished by some metropolis residents, together with dad and mom who rushed to the scene, for stopping them from stepping into.

“I informed him that he’s already inside the varsity,” Briseno stated. He stated the officer informed him to keep back and shut up.

Briseno didn’t need to say which division employs the officer.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, whose officers responded alongside college police, metropolis officers, county sheriff’s deputies, and federal brokers, has stated the delay in response was the “flawed determination.”

The DPS is investigating the police response in addition to the motivation for the assault. The Justice Department stated it’ll additionally evaluate the legislation enforcement response.

Briseno stated he has spoken with investigators, and a search warrant affidavit additionally contains particulars of what he and his coworker informed Texas Rangers.

Briseno informed NBC News he was along with his coworker once they heard the pickup crash exterior the campus. They approached inside about 8 ft to test on the driving force when he emerged.

“I see him crawling out from the passenger window,” he stated. “I inform them, ‘Hey, man, are you OK? Are you all proper?'”

“We locked eyes, and he gave me this vibe,” Briseno stated. “At that second, he appears to be like proper back to me … with that evil look, and I see is that this rifle.”

The gunman, who was in the end killed by U.S. Border Patrol tactical brokers, grabbed what Briseno described as an AR-15 and began to increase the weapon, he stated.

The pair ran, and Briseno tripped on a curb and fell. He stated he noticed the person attaching {a magazine} to the weapon earlier than the sound of gunfire and ricocheting bullets stuffed his ears.

“I rise up, and as I’m working, I look back,” Briseno stated. “And he was aiming that barrel proper at me and my coworker.”

Another pair of employees at Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home held its entrance doorways open for the working males, and locked them after they arrived, he stated.

Briseno appeared exterior to see the gunman kneeling and reloading after which heading for the varsity. He phoned his spouse: “Hey, deliver me my gun,” he says he informed her.

Gunfire was erupting on the college, he stated. He says he noticed the person shoot into campus home windows.

By the time his spouse arrived, the primary officers have been arriving, too, Briseno stated. He marched forward, gun in hand, when he was stopped by police.

“I really feel responsible man, ‘trigger I couldn’t cease (him),” Briseno stated emotionally. “He was capturing on the home windows, and I didn’t have my gun on me.”

Briseno stated he desires the households to have closure and hopes that sharing what he witnessed may also assist investigators.

One of Briseno’s important duties on the funeral house is digging graves. He stated he’s helped bury 5 youngsters who died that day, together with a cousin, Amerie Jo Garza, whose service was Tuesday.

“Had to dig the grave, arrange the tent, decrease her casket,” Briseno stated.

Asked what essentially the most tough side of dealing with the occasions of that day has been, Briseno stated doing his job — burying the youngsters — figuring out that possibly he may have intervened.

“It all the time performs in my head,” he stated, when “I loaded these caskets down.”

Tom Winter contributed.


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