[Breaking news update 5:47 p.m. ET Friday]:
Texas Governor Greg Abbott told a news conference in Uvalde that he was “deceived” about the police response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School.
He said the information he provided at a press conference two days ago was a recitation of what law enforcement had previously told him in a room.
He said he was furious that some of this information turned out to be wrong and he expects law enforcement to fully investigate what happened.
[Original story below last updated at 4:33 p.m. ET]:
Col. Steven McCraw of the Texas Department of Public Safety told a press conference Friday that in hindsight, it was the wrong decision not to enter the classroom earlier in Uvalde, Texas. , where an armed man was located for over an hour.
He said there were “a lot of officers” inside the school from the first minutes of the shooting, and as many as 19 officers from local and federal forces were in the hallway most of the time.
“Looking back, where I’m sitting now, of course, it wasn’t the right decision. It was the wrong decision. Period. There was no excuse for it,” McCraw said.
The decision not to enter immediately was that of the incident commander at the scene, whom McCraw did not specifically name, but said was the police chief of the school district police department. independent of Uvalde Consolidated. Pete Arredondo is listed as the department’s police chief on the school district’s website.
NPR’s call to the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department went unanswered.
The press conference was tense and emotional at times as McCraw provided new details – the main points of which were very different from officials’ accounts earlier this week.
Hundreds of shots were fired in the first four minutes
McCraw also provided more information on how the shooter gained access to the building: a teacher left school to retrieve her cell phone when she heard the nearby car crash and gunshots, but when she came back, she wedged the door. to open. The shooter was hiding behind a nearby car, he said.
A school resource officer was not on campus when Ramos arrived on school property. McCraw said once they heard the 911 calls, that resource officer returned to the school.
But this officer believed that a teacher in the parking lot was the suspect. McCraw said the officer managed to walk past Salvador Ramos while he was crouched behind a car in the school parking lot.
At 11:32 a.m., Ramos fired several shots outside the school before entering Robb Elementary through the side door. He walked over to a neighboring fourth-year class.
It was in the first four minutes Ramos was in the school that there were hundreds of gunshots, McCraw said.
Meanwhile, several local police converged in the hallway outside the classroom and were shot by Ramos. At 12:03 p.m., about 19 officers were gathered in the hallway outside the classroom.
This was after the majority of the shooting had ceased, so the incident commander felt the situation had gone from an active shooter situation to a barricaded subject situation, McCraw said, which is why the officers did not enter.
“In fact, there were a lot of officers to do everything that needed to be done,” but they were operating under the incident commander, he said.
Students make multiple 911 calls to police
At 12:15 p.m., a Border Patrol tactical team was on the scene. Yet under the command of the school district’s police chief, no one was allowed inside.
This despite the fact that several 911 calls were made throughout the ordeal by children and others inside this class explaining that children were injured or dead and that the shooter was still at the scene. inside.
Intermittent gunfire continued during the ordeal, which officers heard, McCraw said. At one point, Ramos reportedly fired at the classroom door in the direction of the police, forcing them further down the hall.
A 911 recording showed a child in one of the locked classrooms being on the phone with 911 for an extended period – and asked the police to be dispatched saying eight or nine children were still on the phone life, McCraw explained.
At 12.50pm – more than an hour into the ordeal – officers obtained keys from a concierge, entered the room and shot the suspect dead, he said.
There were 142 spent cartridges found inside the school, McCraw said, along with 173 actual cartridges. The shooter had a total of 60 magazines with him, he said, including 31 magazines that were in a backpack he had not taken with him inside the school.
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