Senior law enforcement officials are describing the Uvalde Police Department’s response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, as an unmitigated disaster.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McGraw sharply criticized the agency’s inability to quickly respond to the May 24 massacre that left 19 students and two teachers dead.
McGraw’s remarks came during testimony to a special committee meeting in the Texas Senate on Tuesday.
“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 past two decades since the Columbine massacre.”
The words used by Texas DPS Director Steve McGraw in a scathing evisceration of the police response in #Uvalde, specifically, the on-scene commander.
This is during testimony for special called Texas Senate committee meeting. pic.twitter.com/FUJSaDFvq9
— Chris Sadeghi (@chrissadeghi) June 21, 2022
“Three minutes after the subject entered the west building, there was a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract and neutralize the subject,” McCraw said in prepared testimony.
However, the only thing stopping them from acting was the on-scene commander, who “decided to place the lives of officers ahead of children,” in McGraw’s words.
“One hour, fourteen minutes and eight seconds.”
“That’s how long the children waited and the teachers waited in room 111 to be rescued.”
Here’s the opening part of DPS Director McCraw’s testimony ripping Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo and blaming him for law enforcement’s failure to enter the Robb Elementary classroom(s) #txlege pic.twitter.com/CQGDfHGa9T
— Jasper Scherer (@jaspscherer) June 21, 2022
The state official previously pointed to Pete Arredondo, the on-scene commander of the law enforcement response.
Arredondo held off responding officers from the gunman, requesting backup and resources.
McGraw emphasized that the usual standard practice in school shootings is to neutralize the gunman as soon as possible.
The disastrous Uvalde Police Department has been robustly criticized by local, state and federal officials.
Camera footage shows officers in the hallway of the school during the shooting — armed with ballistic shields and AR-15 rifles — but failed to proceed against the killer.
Ultimately, two Border Patrol agents eventually breached the room where the killer was present, neutralizing the murderer.
Gov. Greg Abbott revealed he was “misled” about the law enforcement response immediately after the shooting, furiously demanding a full, thorough investigation into the matter.
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