Steve McCraw, the Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, decried law enforcement’s response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, saying police could’ve stopped the gunman within three minutes after he entered the building, but didn’t.
“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,” McCraw testified to a Texas Senate committee Tuesday, June 21.
McCraw’s testimony marked his first public statements on the shooting since a late May press conference, where he was also fiercely critical of the law enforcement response led by Pete Arredondo, the police chief for the Uvalde School District. His testimony today was equally scathing as he offered one of the most detailed timelines of the May 24 massacre.
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“Three minutes after the subject [18-year-old Salvador Ramos] entered the west building, there was a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract and neutralize the subject,” McCraw said. “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. The officers had weapons, the children had none. The officers had body armor, the children had none. The officers had training, the subject had none.”
McCraw explained that the response to the shooting went against pretty much every principle of the post-Columbine protocols for engaging and stopping active shooters. He stressed that in active shooter situations, it’s imperative that law enforcement “isolate, distract, and neutralize” and that officers “run to the sound of gunfire. You don’t stop. When you get there, you run into gunfire and it’s so important to do so.”
While McCraw noted law enforcement was helpful in some regards — especially evacuating students from the school — he reserved pretty much all of his praise for teachers on the scene. He noted that not only did teachers follow active shooter protocol exactly, but one was even able to call 911 to report a person with a gun after Ramos crashed his car outside Robb Elementary and before he’d even entered the campus.
This story is developing…
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