Police made ‘wrong decision’ by waiting instead of charging Uvalde shooter: Texas official

Police made 'wrong decision' by waiting instead of charging Uvalde shooter: Texas official

The police commander at the scene of the Uvalde elementary school massacre decided to wait for help before confronting the gunman because he believed the situation had shifted from an active shooter to a barricaded hostage situation, a decision that a Texas official condemned as “wrong” on Friday.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said at a Friday press conference that 19 officers waited for about 45 minutes to breach the fourth-grade classroom where 19 children and two teachers were killed in Tuesday’s attack at Robb Elementary School.

“From the benefit of hindsight, where I’m sitting now, of course it was not the right decision, it was the wrong decision. Period,” Mr. McCraw said at the briefing. “There was no excuse for that.”

He also said that a teacher propped open the back door at 11:27 a.m., enabling 18-year-old Salvador Ramos to enter the school unimpeded at 11:33 a.m. after crashing his grandmother’s truck outside the building at 11:28 a.m.

Minutes earlier, the teen shot his grandmother in the face, but she was able to call 911 and seek help from a neighbor. She was transported to a San Antonio hospital and remains in stable condition.

Seven officers arrived at the school at 11:35 a.m., but they fell back after the gunman fired at them, hitting two of them with what were non-life-threatening injuries. By 12:03 p.m., there were 19 officers in the school hallway, Mr. McCraw said.

“There was 19 officers in there,” he said. “In fact, there was plenty of officers to do whatever needed to be done, with one exception, which is that the incident commander inside believed they needed more equipment and more officers to do a tactical breach at that point.”

The officers waited for the arrival of the Border Patrol tactical unit at 12:15 p.m. They obtained keys to the locked classroom from the janitor. At 12:50 p.m., the team breached the door, and shot and killed the gunman.

The timeline provided at the press conference shows that it took an hour and 15 minutes from the time the first officers arrived to burst into the classroom and confront the gunman.

Even though the incident commander treated the situation as a barricade situation, at least two students and a teacher called 911 during the siege. At 12:16 p.m., a caller from inside the classroom told 911 that there were eight to nine students still alive.

Both of the children who called from inside the classroom survived the attack, Mr. McCraw said.

“A student, a child, called back and was told to stay on line and be very quiet,” he said. “She told 911 that he shot the door. At approximately 12:43 and 12:47, she asked 911 to please send the police now.”

The Texas Rangers are leading the investigation into the deadly shooting in concert with the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and local law enforcement.

Soruce : https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/may/27/police-made-wrong-decision-waiting-instead-chargin/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS

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