Uvalde Teacher Wrongly Accused of Leaving Door Open Suffers from Tremors, Depression

In a press conference, Texas authorities originally claimed Amy Marin left a door propped open, giving the gunman access to the school.

Uvalde Teacher Wrongly Accused of Leaving Door Open Suffers from Tremors, Depression

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Robb Elementary School speech pathologist who Texas authorities inaccurately claimed propped open the door that the gunman entered through is suffering from post-traumatic stress stemming from the false accusations.

“I am suffering mentally, of course, emotionally,” Emilia ‘Amy’ Marin said during an interview with ABC News. “I still don’t sleep … I sit there at night, replaying that day in my mind. And I see those victims’ faces. I pray for them every night.”

Three days after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers, Marin was watching the news with her daughter when she heard Colonel Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, say, “We know from video evidence, the exterior door where we knew the intruder entered, was propped open by a teacher.”  

It was originally reported that Marin had propped open the door with a rock but ran back inside to get her phone and call 911 when she saw the shooter, leaving it open and giving him access to the school. A few days later, officials confirmed Marin removed the rock from the doorway prior to the arrival of the shooter. She closed the door but it did not automatically lock like it was supposed to.

Video footage obtained by ABC News shows Marin prop the door open and then run back inside to call 911 after a car crashed outside the school. Marin assumed the driver, who was the gunman, had suffered a medical emergency because he crashed at a high speed. Marin then ran towards the driver to help him but when she saw he had a gun, she ran back towards the school, kicked the rock away, and closed the door. With the door closed behind her, Marin can be heard telling the 911 operator that a man had a gun and was shooting.

After hearing McCraw’s words during the May 27 press conference, Marin said her daughter had to take her to the hospital because she was “shaking from head to toe.” She now has a stutter and a tremor and suffers from post-traumatic arthritis. Marin is in therapy for depression and anxiety and often wears noise-canceling headphones because loud sounds like sirens or even children laughing can trigger her anxiety.

“Right now, I’m lost. Sometimes I go into a dark place. And it’s hard when I’m there, but I tell myself, ‘You can’t let him win. You can’t let him win,'” she said of the gunman. “I’m a fighter. I will be okay. I’m going to learn to live with this.”

Marin said she believes she was a “scapegoat” and criticized McCraw for not watching the full surveillance video before making incorrect accusations.  

“But it was very easy for him to point the finger at me. A few weeks ago, I told my counselor, ‘It would have been better if he would have shot me, too,’ because the pain is unbearable,” she said. “And you have people who are higher up in ranks like McCraw, you would think that they know their job well. He has no idea what his words did.”

Earlier this month, the district announced it suspended its entire police department for its highly criticized response to the shooting.

On Friday, DPS announced it fired Sergeant Juan Maldonado, one of the state troopers who responded to the shooting. Maldonado was the highest-ranking trooper to initially respond and body camera footage shows he was outside of the school within four minutes of the shooting. An additional six Texas troopers are also under investigation by the DPS inspector general for their inaction.

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Amy is Campus Safety’s Senior Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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3 responses to “Uvalde Teacher Wrongly Accused of Leaving Door Open Suffers from Tremors, Depression”

  1. Eddie says:

    So who left the door unsecured if it was not the wrongly accused teacher? Is it inferred that a mechanical fault/error occurred? If so a rock was not needed to prop the door open. The article does not provided that information.

  2. Amy Rock says:

    Hi Eddie,

    The teacher’s attorney said she thought the door automatically locked because that door was always supposed to be locked.

    The preliminary report did not say why the door did not lock when it was closed. My assumption is that more information will be released in the final report and/or when the investigation is complete.

    The terminology being used in reports does suggest it was a mechnical error but we don’t know that for sure. If we can learn anything from this teacher’s situation, it is the importance of not releasing information to the public unless it is completely accurate because it may have repercussions.

  3. Ken Hedges says:

    Repercussions indeed. Not releasing completely accurate information in this case seems suspiciously like an attempt to find a distraction for the obvious lack of proper response training by the Department of Public Safety. This training could quite possible be under the responsibility of the Director Colonel McCraw. I hope that Amy can find peace within to move forward. It is impossible to imagine what she must be going through.

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