Jacob Albarado was in his barber’s chair when both men got text messages about the shooting unfolding atin , last week. “There’s an active shooter. Help. Love you,” Albarado’s wife Trisha said in three messages at 11:41 a.m.
She’s a fourth grade teacher at the school, and their daughter is a student there.
“I asked my barber if he had a gun,” Albarado, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent, told CBS News on Wednesday. He had attended an awards ceremony at the school earlier that morning and was off duty, with his weapon at home.
The barber did have a gun. Albarado took it, a shotgun, and they rushed to the chaotic scene. Police officers were already there, and Albarado started helping.
“Kids are coming out the windows,” he said.
With people fleeing to aacross the street, Albarado said he wanted to get inside the school as fast as he could.
“I was acting as a husband and a father,” he said.
His wife let him know she made it to the funeral home, but she told him their daughter was locked in a school restroom.
“I didn’t know what restroom,” Albarado said.
He eventually learned his daughter was in a restroom located inside her classroom. Albarado met up with two officers near the classroom.
“We need to get the kids out of here,” Albarado said he told the officers. “… The shooter’s over there. We need to get the kids out. This is our time.”
The officers started opening classroom doors, and Albarado said he guided people to safety.
“First classroom, second classroom, third classroom, saw my daughter,” Albarado said. “Relief. Big relief.”
He hugged and kissed her, and soon she was heading to the school parking lot.
While Border Patrol agents were on the team that breached the classroom where the gunman was holed up, Albarado wasn’t in that group.
“I didn’t have my gear, and so it wouldn’t have been a smart decision for me to get into the building,” he said. “I didn’t have my vest. A shotgun’s not a good enough defense.”
During alast week, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the didn’t initially send officers into the classroom where the gunman was located because he thought it was no longer an active-shooter situation. The U.S. is conducting a review of the .
For his part, Albarado said he wasn’t in a position to assess the response.
“I know my fellow officers,” he said, “and … to me, heart of hearts, I believe they were doing everything in their power they could do.”