The Uvalde shooting at Robb Elementary School could have been stopped in three minutes, but police stood by and did nothing, officials say. In a scathing Texas state Senate testimony given yesterday by Steven McCraw, the consensus by many officials is that police were more than equipped to confront the Uvalde shooter but chose not to.
Texas Dept. of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw told the Texas Senate that “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 said that a mere three minutes into the shooting, there were already nine officers in the hallway. They wore bulletproof vests and at least two had rifles and a body shield.
Response to Uvalde Shooting An “Abject Failure”
McCraw referred to the response to the May 24 elementary school shooting which killed 19 children and two teachers as an “abject failure.”
A portion of the door to the classroom was brought into the Senate. McCraw said that it could not be locked from the inside. He said that the police waited for keys to be brought to them instead of seeing if they could open it.
“I have great reasons to believe it was never secured,” he said. “How about trying the door and seeing if it’s locked?”
McCraw also said that the perimeter fence, at a very short height of four feet tall, was not enough to prevent the shooter from entering the premises. Additionally, the radios used by the non-Border patrol officers didn’t work inside the school.
So, what were the police doing while standing in the hallways at Robb Elementary?
Bodycam footage is available but apparently there are agencies fighting to keep it secret, citing over fifty reasons for why they have a legal right to do so. We’ve seen this play out before, such as after the Sandy Hook shooting.
As McCraw was speaking to the Texas Senate, school police chief Pete Arredondo was speaking privately to a Texas House of Representatives committee.
There Was No Barricade
Arredondo has been criticized for treating the Uvalde shooting as a barricade situation when it appears that there was no barricade, and the door could have simply been opened by turning the door handle.
The Uvalde gunman has been identified as Salvador Ramos, who attended Uvalde during fourth grade and dropped out shortly after. He obtained two guns as soon as he turned 18. There are online messages wherein he is telling a German teenager that he was about to shoot his grandmother and additional message about shooting up an elementary school.
Ramos shot his grandmother in the face (she lost her jaw), stole her truck while she ran to the neighbor’s for help, and went to Robb Elementary to commit the massacre. He was eventually killed by the police.