After the school massacre in the small Texas town of Uvalde with 21 dead, criticism of the actions of the police is increasing. Parents and witnesses accused the emergency services on Thursday of not intervening quickly enough.

“There were at least 40 police officers armed to the teeth, but they didn’t do a damn thing until it was way too late,” Jacinto Cazares, whose daughter was killed in the bloodbath, told ABC. “The situation could have been over quickly if they had had better tactical training.”

Pastor Daniel Myers, who was at the scene on Tuesday, told AFP news agency that “time was lost”. Apparently, the police officers who had arrived were waiting for reinforcements.

“The parents were desperate,” Myers said. “A relative said, ‘I was in the army, just give me a gun, I’ll go in. I won’t hesitate, I’ll go in.’”

A cell phone video that has become public shows parents screaming in desperation, telling the officials to storm the elementary school and trying to get to the building themselves, but are held back by the police.

18-year-old Salvador Ramos shot dead 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Tuesday. According to officials, he may have been in the building for more than 40 minutes before he was finally shot dead by police officers.