The head of the Texas Department of Public Safety sharply criticized the law enforcement response to the Uvalde mass killing on Tuesday.
Not only was the response described as an “abject failure,” but officials revealed shocking new details indicating that more lives could have been saved.
What are the details?
Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw disclosed while speaking to Texas lawmakers that law enforcement entered Robb Elementary School just minutes after the 18-year-old perpetrator, which meant they could have quickly neutralized him, thus saving more lives.
“There is compelling evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary was an abject failure and antithetical to everything we’ve learned over the last two decades since the Columbine massacre,” McCraw said.
“Three minutes after the suspect entered the west building, there was a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract, and neutralize the subject,” he explained. “The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering Room 111, and 112, was the on-scene commander, who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”
During his testimony before a Texas state Senate committee, McCraw repeatedly condemned Uvalde school district police Chief Pete Arredondo, the on-scene commander who decided not to immediately engage the gunman.
Arredondo has said he gave that order because officers could not enter the classroom containing the gunman because the door was locked. But McCraw said Tuesday that is not true. In fact, McCraw said the door was never locked, the door did not lock from the inside, and there is no evidence that officers attempted to open the door.
McCraw said the response sent the law enforcement “profession back a decade.”
“The officers had weapons; the children had none,” McCraw said. “The officers had body armor; the children had none. The officers had training; the subject had none. One hour, 14 minutes and 8 seconds. That’s how long children waited, and the teachers waited, in Room 111 to be rescued.”
In the end, 19 children and two teachers lost their lives.
Multiple departments are investigating the response to Uvalde, including the Justice Department, Texas DPS, and Texas lawmakers.
Arredondo is facing calls to resign, but he remains the police chief of the Uvalde school district police agency.
Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw calls law enforcement response to shooting an abject failure in …