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Texas public security director says police response to Uvalde college capturing was a ‘gross failure’


Colonel Steven McCraw informed the Texas Senate Special Committee, “There is strong evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack on Rob Elementary has completely failed what we have learned over the past two decades since the Columbine massacre. And it was the opposite.” Protect all Texans.

“Three minutes after the subject entered the West Building, a sufficient number of armed officers were wearing body armor to isolate, distract and neutralize the subject,” he continued. “The only thing preventing the dedicated officers’ hallways from entering rooms 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander, who decided to put the officers’ lives before the lives of the children.”

What occurred inside these 77 minutes is unclear as Texas officers have provided conflicting narratives of the response.

Source: Texas House expected to release preliminary investigation report on Uvalde tragedy by mid-July

McCraw’s feedback Tuesday mark the primary time that an officer has offered adequate info on the capturing in weeks. He mentioned the selections to attend contradict established active-shooter protocol – to cease the suspect as quickly as attainable.

“The officers had weapons, the kids had none. The officers had body armor, the kids had none,” McCraw mentioned. “The post-Columbine principle is clear and compelling and unambiguous: stop killing, stop dying.”

The Public Security Department’s timeline indicated that 11 officers arrived on the college inside three minutes of the gunman getting into lecture rooms, lots of them with rifles. The suspect then shot and wounded a number of officers who approached the school rooms, they usually retreated right into a hallway exterior the rooms. The group of officers then remained within the hallway and didn’t attain the door for 73 minutes.

“While they waited, the on-scene commanders waited for a radio and rifle,” McCraw mentioned, referring to Arredondo. “Then he waited for the shield. Then he waited for the SWAT. After all, he waited for a key that was never needed.”

Arredondo was previously told the Texas Tribune That day he didn’t take into account himself the incident commander. However, not less than one of many officers is famous at 11:50 a.m. expressing the idea that Arredondo was main the regulation enforcement response inside the college, telling others, “The chief is in charge,” According to the timeline of the Department of Public Safety.

Despite the criticisms, McCraw expressed discomfort in calling Arredondo personally. “I don’t like to isolate and transfer a person and say that he is solely responsible, but at the end of the day, if you command the incident, you are responsible,” McCraw mentioned.

The officers did not attempt to break down the doorways for greater than an hour

Image obtained by the Austin-American Statesman shows at least three officers in the hallway of Rob Elementary at 11:52 a.m., 19 minutes after the gunman entered the school.  One officer has what appears to be a tactical shield, and two officers hold a rifle.
Reporting from CNN, late Monday, the Texas Tribune And this Austin American-politician Previewed some DPS timelines and uncovered additional flaws within the police response.
In the early days after the capturing, officers mentioned the suspect had Barricading himself behind closed doorsPreventing the aggressively reacting officers from stopping him as quickly as attainable.
Arredondo, who has been recognized by different officers on the scene because the incident commander, beforehand informed Texas Tribune that the authorities had discovered the classroom doors were closed and bolstered with a metal jamb, obstructing any attainable response or defence. He mentioned that an try was made to search out the important thing to open the door.

However, McCraw mentioned the video proof by no means confirmed anybody placing their arms on the door deal with to see if it was locked, he mentioned.

Parents and residents call on Uvalde school board to sack district police chief during emotional open stage

According to McCraw, the officers weren’t with out weapons and gear, and two of the primary officers to reach on the scene had rifles. However, at 11:40 a.m., Arredondo referred to as the dispatch of the Uvalde Police Department by telephone, when the gunman fired on the officers and requested additional help and a radio, in line with a DPS transcript.

“We just don’t have enough firepower, it’s all pistols and he has an AR-15,” Arredondo mentioned, According to a DPS transcript,

In the primary minutes of their response, an officer additionally mentioned {that a} halligan, a firefighting system used for compelled entry, was on the scene in line with the timeline. However, the gear was not delivered to the college till an hour after officers arrived and was by no means used, the timeline mentioned.

A safety footage picture obtained by the Austin American-Statesman reveals not less than three officers within the hallway—two of whom have rifles and one with a tactical protect—at 11:52 a.m., 19 minutes after the gunman entered after college.

The Tribune, citing regulation enforcement transcripts, mentioned that in complete, the officers had 4 ballistic shields inside the college, the fourth of which got here off half-hour earlier than the officers broke into the school rooms.

An unidentified officer who arrived at 11:56 am mentioned they wanted to behave.

“If there are children, we have to go there,” mentioned the officer. Another officer replied, “Whoever is in charge will determine that.”

At the tip of the standoff, Arredondo questioned aloud whether or not the officers ought to shoot him via the window, the timeline reveals. A physique digital camera transcript confirmed Arredondo at 12:46 a.m. indicating to different officers that if a SWAT response group was prepared, they need to break down the door, an motion that happened 4 minutes later.

Reporting comes after lack of transparency

The reporting — in three totally different information retailers and citing unnamed sources — highlighted Texas officers’ lack of transparency to the general public in such a big incident. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat, informed CNN on Monday that the reporting underscored his questions on why police did not attempt to break down the doorways as quickly as attainable.

“We see that there (are) enough weapons, enough equipment to be able to break into that room,” he mentioned. “I don’t understand why it didn’t happen, why they didn’t break up the room.

“Those solutions are wanted. They should not be dribbling via the media like this. We ought to inform regulation enforcement businesses what precisely went improper. And the truth that we won’t discover that info is only a mockery.” and his own.”

CNN has contacted each Arredondo’s legal professional, George Hyde, and the Uvalde Police Department concerning the report.

Arredondo, who has not spoken publicly because the incident, will testify behind closed doorways in entrance of the Texas House committee investigating the capturing on Tuesday, in line with the committee.

The new reporting additional angered the bereaved households whose questions have but to be answered.

“I get angry,” mentioned Jose Flores Sr., Whose 10-year-old son is Jose Flores Jr.Children had been amongst these killed. “They let our kids down, left them there by scaring them and, who knows, crying. They left them,” Flores informed CNN’s “New Day” When requested in regards to the newest revelations.

“They’re going to be trained professionals,” Flores mentioned of the police. “I don’t understand why they stood there for so long to go back in… Standing back an entire hour, leaving them inside with that gunman, isn’t right. It’s funky, funky, funky stuff.” ”

CNN’s Rosalina Nieves, Travis Caldwell and Dave Alsup contributed to this report.


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