Texas officials detail missteps in school shooting response


Texas law enforcement chief has revealed a series of cascading missteps in the response to one of the deadliest school shootings in the nation’s history.

Visibly shaken Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, admitted mistakes were made on the field during an active shooting incident at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday, in which 19 children and two teachers were killed by a heavily armed man. shooter.

The missteps began before the shooting, when a police officer from the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District responding to a 911 call from a gunman on the school campus walked past the suspect, who was ” squatting” behind a car in the school parking lot. , said McCraw.

The shooter fired multiple times into the school before entering through a door left open by a teacher at 11:33 a.m., entered a classroom, and began firing more than 100 rounds, according to McCraw.

Minutes later, several officers from the Uvalde Police Department entered the building and were shot behind the closed classroom door. At 12:03 p.m., there were as many as 19 officers in the hallway, McCraw said.

An officer walks outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022.

Dinner Allison/AFP via Getty Images

As officers stood outside the door, the incident commander – the Uvalde Independent School District Police Chief – mistakenly believed the incident had escalated from an active shootout to one where the suspect had stopped shooting, barricaded himself in a classroom and no longer poses a risk to children, McCraw said.

“He thought it was time to get the keys and wait for a tactical team with the gear to come forward and open the door and bring it up at that time,” McCraw said. “It was the decision, it was the thought process.”

The Customs and Border Protection tactical team arrived on the scene at 12:15 p.m. but did not burst into the classroom until 35 minutes later, at 12:50 p.m., according to McCraw.

“Of course it wasn’t the right decision,” McCraw said. “It was the wrong decision.”

PHOTO: Police officers walk near Robb Elementary School after a shooting, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.

Police walk near Robb Elementary School after a shooting, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.

Dario Lopez-Moulins/AP

McCraw said the incident commander may have believed no one was alive inside the classrooms. But he detailed 911 calls from students and teachers who made it clear they were still in grave danger. It seems that the information was not transmitted to the agents in the field.

Several calls came in from inside the classroom, including from a teacher at 12:03 a.m., 12:10 p.m., 12:13 p.m. and 12:16 p.m. – during which she said there were eight to nine students who were alive, according to McCraw.

Several other calls were made at 12:19 p.m., 12:21 p.m., 12:36 p.m. and 12:43 p.m. by students, he said.

The callers were direct. In a whisper, one said, “He shot the door,” then, “Please send the police now,” according to McCraw.

At 12:50 p.m., officers forced open the locked doors using keys they were able to obtain from the concierge and shot and killed the shooter, McCraw said.

PHOTO: Vincent Salazar, right, cries in front of a cross for his daughter Layla Salazar at a memorial site for the victims killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, May 27, 2022.

Vincent Salazar, right, cries in front of a cross for his daughter Layla Salazar at a memorial site for the victims killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, May 27, 2022.

Dario Lopez-Moulins/AP

McCraw admitted on Friday that the decision to wait was “wrong.”

“Looking back, where I’m sitting now, of course, it wasn’t the right decision…it was the wrong decision. Period,” he said. “But again, I wasn’t there, but I’m just telling you from what we know, we think there should have been an entry on this – as soon as you can.”

Active shooter protocols dictate that officers find and target the shooter immediately, he said.

“You don’t have to wait for tactical gear,” he said. “If the shooting continues and you have reason to believe there are living individuals in there, you have an obligation to return to an active shooter posture and that means everyone, everyone at the door.”

As part of its ongoing investigation into Tuesday’s massacre, the Texas Department of Public Safety is conducting a review of law enforcement actions, ABC News has learned.

This could include anything from why Uvalde’s ISD officer walked past the shooter in the first place to whether the 911 caller’s information was passed on correctly to officers. on the scene as to why the incident commander mistakenly believed that different protocols should apply, resulting in the tactic being delayed 35 minutes. team breakup.

ABC News

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button