Police Could Have Stopped Uvalde Shooter ‘3 Minutes’ After Entering School: Texas Official

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
June 21USshare
Police Could Have Stopped Uvalde Shooter ‘3 Minutes’ After Entering School: Texas Official
A makeshift memorial at Robb Elementary School is filled with flowers, toys, signs, and crosses bearing the names of all 21 victims of the mass shooting that occurred on May 24, in Uvalde, Texas, on May 27, 2022. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

The director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) said that there is evidence suggesting the police response to the mass shooting at a Uvalde school was an “abject failure.”

“However, we do know this: 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 last two decades since the Columbine massacre,” DPS Director Steven McCraw told a Texas Senate panel on Tuesday.

Elaborating, McCraw suggested that the officers could have stopped gunman Salvador Ramos “three minutes” after he entered the school because there “was a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract, and neutralize the subject.

“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander, who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” he claimed.

Eight minutes after Ramos entered, police reported that they had a crowbar that could be used to break open the classroom door, he said. Nineteen minutes after Ramos entered, officials brought in their first ballistic shield into the building, he remarked.

It comes as documents obtained by local news outlets suggest that several police officers armed with rifles and at least one ballistic shield were in Robb Elementary School within minutes of the suspect entering. KVUE-TV also released an image showing several officers in the building 19 minutes later, although they did not enter the classroom Ramos was in for nearly another hour.

Uvalde shooting
Wooden crosses are placed at a memorial dedicated to the victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on June 3, 2022. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

During his testimony, McCraw again noted that Ramos entered Robb Elementary through an unlocked door.  A teacher previously told news outlets via her attorney as she went inside the building to report a car crash involving Ramos, and when she saw Ramos approaching, she kicked the door shut after propping it open with a rock.

“It was closed, but unlocked,” McCraw said, saying it allowed the gunman to “walk straight through it.”

McCraw added that regardless of whether the door was locked, the windows to the side could have been shot, which could have allowed Ramos to enter the school. But the classroom that Ramos went to could not have been locked from the inside, McCraw said, further impugning previous accounts that he was barricaded inside the room.

Since the May 24 shooting, which left 19 students and two teachers dead, there have been questions about the role the school police chief, Pete Arredondo, played in the response.

“It has been reported that he didn’t have a radio with him. That’s true. He did not,” McCraw said of Arredondo on Tuesday.

Arredondo later told news outlets that he didn’t consider himself the individual in charge and assumed someone else had taken control of the response.

From The Epoch Times