Cops waited before taking down Uvalde school shooter

Published June 22, 2022
Children run to safety during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where a gunman killed nineteen children and two adults in Uvalde. — Reuters
Children run to safety during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where a gunman killed nineteen children and two adults in Uvalde. — Reuters

AUSTIN: The law enforcement response to the Uvalde school shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers was “an abject failure” in which a commander put the lives of officers over those of the children, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw said on Tuesday.

During a Texas Senate hearing into the May 24 mass shooting, McCraw told lawmakers that “terrible decisions” were made by the onsite commander and officers who responded to the scene did not have enough training, costing them valuable time that may have saved lives.

Among the delays McCraw detailed was the search for a key to the classroom door where the shooting occurred. McGraw said police waited to enter while they sought a key, despite the fact that the door was not locked and there is no evidence officers ever tried to see if it was secured.

“There’s no way to lock the door from the inside and there’s no way for the subject to lock the door from the inside,” McCraw said.

The Texas DPS, days after the shooting, said that as many as 19 officers waited over an hour in a hallway outside classrooms 111 and 112 before a US Border Patrol-led tactical team finally made entry. McCraw reiterated that in the hearing on Tuesday.

“The officers had weapons, the children had none. The officers had body armor, the children had none. The officers had training, the subject had none. One hour, 14 minutes, and eight seconds — that is how long the children waited, and the teachers waited, in Room 111 to be rescued,” the DPS director said.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2022

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