‘The officers had weapons, the children had none’: Top law enforcement official rebukes police response to Uvalde, Texas, mass shooting
On Tuesday, the head of the Texas State Police rebuked the police response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School, calling it ‘an abject failure’
On Tuesday, the head of the Texas state police rebuked the police response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last month that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers.
Driving the news: According to The New York Times, Steven McCraw, the director of the Department of Public Safety, gave an address before the Texas Senate in Austin, where he called the efforts of law enforcement “an abject failure” that opposed their training.
- “We do know this, there’s 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,” he told lawmakers, per NBC News.
Details: “The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from (entering rooms) 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” said McCraw, whose office is conducting multiple investigations on the police response to the mass shooting, in opening statements.
- “The officers had weapons — the children had none. The officers had body armor — the children had none,” he said, per ABC News.
- While the children waited “one hour, 14 minutes and eight seconds,” the law enforcement commander on the scene “waited for radios and rifles. Then he waited for shields. Then he waited for SWAT. Lastly, he waited for key that was never needed,” said McCraw, according to the report.
Worth noting: The Department of Public Safety director said that the outside door, used by the shooter, was unlocked. McCraw also pointed to Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo as the “only thing” preventing officers from entering the classroom, adding that the chief “decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”
- According to NPR, McCraw added that the radios, possessed by officers, did not work inside the elementary school.
- In his closing remarks, he praised the school’s teachers and staff for rapidly commencing the active shooter protocols.