Police Official Admits No Initial Effort Was Made to Breach Uvalde Classroom: 'It Was the Wrong Decision'
The director of the Texas Department of Public Safety admitted Friday that local police officers did not immediately attempt to enter the classroom where the gunman was during the Tuesday shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
“From the benefit of hindsight, where I’m standing now, of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. Period,” Steven McCraw said during a news conference in Uvalde.
“There was no excuse for that.”
On 40 minute delay in police engaging the suspect inside Robb Elementary School, officials say, “a decision was made that this was a barricaded subject…there was time to retrieve the keys.”
“From the benefit of hindsight…it was the wrong decision.” https://t.co/q812K5OQTv pic.twitter.com/59SMt32ElZ
— ABC News (@ABC) May 27, 2022
CNN correspondent Shimon Prokupecz asked McCraw, “You say there were 19 officers gathered in the hallway or somewhere. What efforts were made to try and break through that door?”
“None at that time,” McCraw replied. “The on-scene commander at the time believed that it had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject.”
>> @ShimonPro‘s first Q at the press conference: “You say there were 19 officers gathered in the hallway or somewhere. What efforts were made to try and break through that door? You say it was locked. What efforts were the officers making?” The awful answer: “None at that time.” pic.twitter.com/qM1liHrY2e
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 27, 2022
“You have people who are alive, children who are calling 911, saying, ‘Please send the police.’ They are alive in that classroom, there are lives that are at risk,” Prokupecz followed up, asking McCraw, “Why was this decision made not to go in and rescue these children?”
McCraw reiterated that officers had determined that the shooter had barricaded himself in the classroom, adding that they did not believe any more children were in danger.
“Obviously, based on the information we have, there were children in that classroom that were at risk and it was in fact still an active shooter situation and not a barricaded subject,” McCraw stated.
The officers’ delay in confronting the shooter drew public outrage.
A U.S. Border Patrol agent eventually killed the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, after local law enforcement prevented a Border Patrol tactical team from entering the classroom sooner, The New York Times reported.
Ramos killed 19 students and two teachers in what was America’s second-deadliest school shooting on record, according to a separate report from the Times.
The shooter suffered from mental health issues and a broken family. Before heading to the school on Tuesday, he shot his grandmother.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.