Uvalde mother who was cuffed trying to save kids claims she’s now being harassed by police

·4 min read

A mom who was handcuffed after she attempted to rescue her children from a school shooting in Uvalde last month says that she’s now being harassed by local police.

On 24 May, after a teenage gunman opened fire on a fourth-grade classroom and brutally slaughtered 19 children and two teachers, Angeli Rose Gomez made her way down to Robb Elementary School in a valiant effort to save her own two sons, who were still trapped indoors, from the massacre that was unfolding behind the Texas school’s doors.

However, when she attempted to broach the police line, she was told to stand down. Within moments, she found herself cuffed by the police officers who she’d begun criticising for not doing what she boldly wanted to do herself, all while being unarmed.

"Right away, as I parked, a US Marshal started coming toward my car, saying that I wasn’t allowed to be parked there," Ms Gomez said in an interview with CBS earlier this month. "And he said, ‘Well, we’re gonna have to arrest you because you’re being very uncooperative,’” she recalled the officer saying to her, before she said he "immediately put me in cuffs."

In a recent interview with Fox 25, the mother of two told the news outlet how she was later able to reason with the officers and convince them that she had calmed down, thus securing her release from the handcuffs.

Angeli Rose Gomez poses with her two sons, who she rescued from inside Robb Elementary School during the 24 May mass shooting in Uvalde (CBS News/video screengrab)
Angeli Rose Gomez poses with her two sons, who she rescued from inside Robb Elementary School during the 24 May mass shooting in Uvalde (CBS News/video screengrab)

"As soon as they [police] take me off the cuff I see his arm like, give me a little gateway, because I’m real little so a little gateway where I can just run,” Ms Gomez said, explaining how her compact size and quick-acting impulses that day enabled her to get past the officers and broach the school so that she could ultimately save her little boys.

"I just remember when my son saw my other son, one hugged the other one and said ‘I’m so glad you’re okay’, and the other one said, ‘I was so worried you weren’t,’” she told Fox 25 during a tearful interview.

That relief has been short lived as in the weeks that followed the traumatic school shooting, Ms Gomez alleges that she and her family have been on the receiving end of harassment by local law enforcement.

"The other night we were exercising, and we had a cop parked at the corner like, flickering us with his headlights,” Ms Gomez claimed during the interview with Fox 25 adding that the stress from these alleged incidents has forced her to separate from her sons.

Angeli Rose Gomez describes being handcuffed outside Robb Elementary School to CBS News after she reportedly tried to run in to the school to rescue her two sons (CBS News/video screengrab)
Angeli Rose Gomez describes being handcuffed outside Robb Elementary School to CBS News after she reportedly tried to run in to the school to rescue her two sons (CBS News/video screengrab)

“Just so my sons don’t feel like they have to watch cops passing by, stopping, parking,” she said.

The Texas mother also suggested during a separate interview with CBS that she was afraid that “someone in law enforcement” was trying to silence her from speaking out about the harrowing day when she was handcuffed while trying to rescue her children from what can only be described as most parents’ worst nightmare.

For their part, the US Marshals agency has denied that parents were handcuffed outside the school, telling the Wall Street Journal that its deputy marshals “maintained order and peace in the midst of the grief-stricken community that was gathering around the school”.

The mother’s remarks to Fox 25 arrive just days after Pete Arredondo, the school district police chief who oversaw officers’ response to the Uvalde mass shooting, was put on administrative leave.

Mr Arredondo and other law enforcement agencies who responded to the Uvalde shooting have come under intense scrutiny from both the community and elected officials for their handling of the second worst school shooting in US history.

Angeli Rose Gomez claims that law enforcement is harassing her for speaking out about the events that transpired outside Robb Elementary School during the Uvalde mass shooting (Fox 29 News/video screengrab)
Angeli Rose Gomez claims that law enforcement is harassing her for speaking out about the events that transpired outside Robb Elementary School during the Uvalde mass shooting (Fox 29 News/video screengrab)

Officers under Mr Arredondo’s command, armed with assault rifles and ballistic shields, waited more than an hour outside a classroom where dozens of students were holed up with gunman Salvador Ramos before breaching the door and taking out the 18-year-old shooter.

Last week, Texas Department of Public Safety Steven McCraw testified in the state legislature that the school police chief’s decisions during the shooting were “an abject failure.”

School officials have indicated that they will wait till both the federal and state investigations are concluded before announcing their decision around Mr Arredondo’s future employment with the district.

The Independent reached out to the Uvalde Police Department for comment on Ms Gomez’s allegations but did not hear back immediately before publication.