Texas School Shooting: Cops Were Wrong To Wait Outside Classroom, Says Official

"From the benefit of hindsight, where I’m sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision," McCraw said.

3 min read
Texas School Shooting: Cops Were Wrong To Wait Outside Classroom, Says Official

An official of the Texas Department of Public Safety in the United States said on Friday, 27 May, that the local police had made the "wrong decision" of waiting for nearly one hour before breaching the elementary school classroom, where an armed assailant killed 19 children and two teachers.

Around 20 police officers stood outside the classroom while Salvador Ramos attacked students in the school, as the on-scene commander believed that the gunman had barricaded himself and that the children were not at risk any longer, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steven McCraw said during a press conference on Friday, as per Politico.

In one of the deadliest grade school shootings in a decade, 18-year-old Ramos opened fire on students and teachers in the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, a small town in Texas, on 24 May, killing 19 children and two teachers. The gunman had also killed his grandmother before arriving at the school.

'On-Scene Commander Believed Shooter Had Barricaded Himself'

In the time it took for law enforcement officials to confront the assailant, students and children were still alive in the classroom and were repeatedly dialing 911 for assistance.

"From the benefit of hindsight, where I'm sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision," McCraw said, adding, "It was the wrong decision, period."

McCraw added that the on-screen commander believed at the time that the matter had transitioned from an active shooter situation to a barricaded one, and that he was under the impression that there were "no children at risk" anymore.

"He was convinced at that time that there was no more threat to the children and that the subject was barricaded and that they had time to organise with the proper equipment to go in," McCraw added.

Finally, US Border Patrol agents used a master key to enter the classroom and kill the gunman.


Public Outrage Over Inconsistencies in Police Reports

There has been immense public outrage over the inconsistencies regarding the police's response to the situation.

Just a day after the mass killing, Texas Governor Greg Abbott praised law enforcement officials for the way they halted the attack.

Amid the briefing, Abbott's Democratic opponent for Governor, Beto O'Rourke, publicly confronted him, slamming him for the inaction on gun control.

"You are doing nothing," O'Rourke said as he stood in front of the stage, facing state officials.

In recent days, authorities have revealed distressing information regarding the shooting, like the fact that it took police officers armed with shields 15-20 minutes to arrive at the site of the shooting, and even longer to breach the classroom where the gunman was spraying bullets.

When asked whether the on-scene commander should apologise to the families of the victims for his faulty decision, McCraw said, "If I thought it would help, I would apologise."

US President Reiterates Demand To Alter Gun Laws

US President Joe Biden had condemned the gun laws in the country after the shooting, reiterating his demand to stand up to the all-powerful gun lobby in the US.

"As a nation, we have to ask, when in God's name are we going to stand up to gun lobbying? When in God's name will we do what we all know in our gut that needs to be done?" Biden said in a speech in the aftermath of the deadly shooting.

This case of gun violence at a school comes on the heels of a grocery store shooting that took place on 14 May when 10 elderly Black people in Buffalo, New York, were killed in what is now being described as a "racist attack."

Just earlier this month, a group of churchgoers at a Taiwanese church in Southern California were attacked by a gunman during a lunch banquet. Five churchgoers of Asian origin were shot, out of which one was killed in the shooting that took place on 15 May.

There have been 212 mass shootings in the US this year alone, out of which 27 occurred in schools.

(With inputs from Politico.)

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