Texas Capturing Press Convention reveals extra particulars on police response

Police admitted to a startling array of negligence – including driving right by the shooter – in responding to the Texas school shooting while children were being massacred inside, with the state’s Department of Public Safety chief saying it was time to apologize for the botched reaction was over.

Friday’s news conference came after days of confusion, inconsistencies and a convoluted timeline of law enforcement’s response to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Speaking of the delay in breaching the classroom where the shooter was located, Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said, “Of course, looking back, where I’m sitting now, it wasn’t the right decision. It was the wrong decision. There is no excuse for that.”

“There were kids in that classroom who were still at risk,” he added.

McCraw revealed the gunman entered the school through a back door, which he found open at 11:33 a.m., and began shooting in Classrooms 111 and 112. At least 100 shots were fired “based on the audio evidence at the time,” he said.

Just two minutes later, at least three police officers entered the same door as the shooter. At 12:03 p.m., up to 19 officers were in the hallway.

However, it was not until 12:50 p.m. that the classroom where the gunman fired was broken into with keys from a janitor. The shooter was fatally shot.

In a news conference late Friday afternoon, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he was “angry” after being “misled” by initial reports of police response to the shooting.

Investigators “must capture what happened with 100 percent accuracy to the second and explain it to the public and most importantly to the devastated victims,” ​​the governor said.

Abbott insisted law enforcement will get to the bottom of why responding police didn’t take more aggressive action to “eliminate” the killer.

“There will be ongoing investigations detailing exactly who knew what, when, who was responsible and what strategy (was used), why was that particular strategy used, why were other strategies not used?” he said.

“The bottom line would be why didn’t they choose the strategy that would have been best to get in there, eliminate the killer and save the kids.”

Among the more blatant revelations McCraw unveiled on Friday:

  • A school resource officer was not already stationed at the school. Arriving at the scene, he accidentally passed the gunman, who was crouched next to a car.
  • The school’s back door, which the shooter entered, was held open by a teacher earlier in the day.
  • A student in room 112 called 911 at 12:03 p.m. She called back several times. At 12:16 p.m., she said there were “eight to nine students alive,” McCraw said.
  • At least two children called 911 asking for help. They survived the shooting, McCraw said.
  • McCraw said the commander at the scene believed “this was a barricaded situation” and didn’t believe “more children were at risk.”
  • Fifty-eight magazines were seized. Three were found on the shooter’s body, two were found in Classroom 112 and six in Classroom 111. Five others were found on the ground and one was in the rifle the gunman was wielding.
  • The shooter asked his sister to buy him a gun in September 2021 and she refused.
  • The shooter made several alarming posts on Instagram. In a group chat with four people in March, he made comments about buying a gun.
  • On March 14, he posted “10 days to go” on Instagram. When a user asked if he would shoot a school, he said, “No. Stop asking stupid questions and you’ll see.”

McCraw was overwhelmed by reporters demanding an explanation for the time delay in entering the classroom.

“It was decided that this was a barricaded situation, it was time to get the keys and wait for a tactical team to move on with the gear, break through the door and at that point take care of the issue,” he explained. “That was the decision, that was the thought process at that particular point in time.”

When asked how he was doing, McCraw broke down.

“Forget how I am. what about the parents And these children?” he said. “Every time something tragic like this happens, we want to know why it happened and how we can do better next time.”

Texas law enforcement officers were under intense scrutiny over their handling of the attack after it was revealed it had taken over an hour to stop the gunman.

Officials said on Thursday responding officers were waiting for backup before moving in when the gunman was holed up in a classroom – a move one expert described as “disgusting”.

They also revealed that the gunman was not confronted by a school police officer upon arrival and entered the building unhindered. Police previously said a school resource officer confronted the gunman before he entered the building.

The massacre is the latest in a string of deadly shootings that have targeted Black, Asian and Hispanic communities. Tuesday’s shooting ripped at the heart of the tight-knit community in Uvalde, just an hour’s drive northeast of the Mexico border and home to a large Latino community.

It has reignited debate over gun rights in Texas, a state in power with some of the most vigilant defenders of the Second Amendment. rations annual meeting – just three days after the Uvalde tragedy. Around 70,000 people are expected to attend the three-day conference. However, nvention skipped the event to return to Uvalde. Convention but skipped the event to return to Uvalde. This is an evolving story. Please check back for updates.

David K. Li contributed to this.

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