Texas’ Top Cop Calls Uvalde Police Response “an Abject Failure”

Jaelani Turner-Williams Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with…
Photo Credit: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Steven McCraw, director Texas Department of Public Safety admitted to police failure during the Uvalde school shooting in May.

Texas police officers are taking partial blame for the Robb Elementary School shooting last month. At a state senate hearing on Tuesday (June 21), Steven McCraw, director Texas Department of Public Safety said that the mass shooting was “an abject failure and antithetical to everything we’ve learned over the last two decades since the Columbine massacre.”

During the press conference, McGraw also admitted that Texas police officials could have stopped the now-deceased gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, within three minutes. Instead, officers did not breach the barricaded classroom until nearly an hour later – although law enforcement entered the building at 12:03 PM that day (May 24), classrooms weren’t entered until 12:51 PM, per Axios.

McCraw testified that the schools external door was closed by a teacher upon seeing Ramos approach the building, but was not locked as doors could only lock from the outside. The Texas police commissioner also revealed that Ramos was not locked inside the classrooms he entered, as “there’s no way for the subject to lock the door from the inside.” Surveillance footage also showed that officers were waiting outside the classrooms to retrieve a key that was unneeded.

“Three minutes after the subject 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.”

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