Texas Public Safety director: Uvalde chief of police was ‘wrong’ not to confront school shooter sooner

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By DAN MCCALEB | THE CENTER SQUARE

The commander in charge of the police response to Tuesday’s mass shooting at an Uvalde elementary school made the “wrong decision” to not send officers into the classroom to confront the gunman who shot and killed 19 children and two fourth grade teachers, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said Friday.

The chief of the Uvalde Consolidated School District Police Department, who was in charge of the initial response at Robb Elementary School, thought the shooter, 18-year-old Uvalde resident Salvador Ramos, was barricaded inside that classroom and that no other children were at risk, McCraw said.

“Obviously, based on the information we have, there were children in that classroom that were still at risk,” McCraw said. “From the benefit of hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. Period.”

Nearly 20 officers stood in a hallway outside of the classroom for more than 45 minutes before federal Border Patrol agents arrived and used a master key to open the door and kill the gunman, he said.

Outside the school, parents, neighbors and others said law enforcement waited close to an hour before confronting Ramos and killing him. Videos posted online showed a chaotic scene of parents pleading with officers who remained outside to enter the school as the active shooting incident was ongoing.

Victor Escalon, South Texas regional director in the Department of Public Safety, said at a Thursday news conference that the first officers on the scene did enter the school once they arrived but were shot at and began evacuating students and school personnel.

“Four minutes [after Ramos entered the school and began shooting students], local police departments, the Uvalde Police Department, the Independent School District Police Department are inside, making entry,” Escalon said. “They hear gunfire, they take rounds, they move back, get cover. And during that time, they approach where the suspect is at.”

After two officers were shot, Escalon said, law enforcement decided to start evacuating as many students and school personnel as they could.

About an hour after the shooting started, a tactical team from U.S. Border Patrol arrived, entered the building and killed the suspect, authorities said.

​Dan McCaleb is the executive editor of The Center Square. Contact him at [email protected].

22 COMMENTS

  1. At what point is officer safety superceded by the lives of 19 children and 2 teachers–after the first 5 killed, 10, 15? Easy to second guess, but it is an elementary school after all. They all knew those children were helpless to defend themselves.

  2. Duh.

    At this point they are more culpable for the loss of life than the animal who killed them.

    How? Simple. That animal was sick and damaged. The “cops” knew better, had the ability to stop it, and chose to restrain parents than act.

    Every cop there should be held as accessory to murder. They, the department, and the city should be sued to the point where they are all destitute. Worse if possible.

    This was a failure in every sense of the word. No one outside the custodial staff is exempt from guilt.

  3. Fire every single one. Ban them from law enforcement. The ones arresting parents charge them with aiding and abetting. Send them to south Texas general population and make it known they are discarded Leo.

    I’m not talking out my butt I trained with door kickers. Give me a stupid order I’ll ignore it and act out my training. These kids needed protectors.

  4. I thought all law enforcement agencies were to be trained in the national active shooter protocols. Some of the small towns may not have it. There was an active vehicle pursuit of the suspect that ended near the school but a back door was left open which the gunman entered. Lots of questions still on the table here.

  5. I’m a Texas transplant from 20 years ago, but I’m still close enough to Texas to confidently say Texans, especially those that live in the rough arid country west of San Antonio (like the good people of Uvalde), won’t be kind to this troop. They’ll see this is a straight betrayal of the public trust. A hundred years ago these folks would be running for their lives.

  6. Clearly armed parents, and even having LEOs give their guns to unarmed parents, would have led to a superior outcome for the murdered and wounded children and teachers. If the Democrats want to have universal background checks, which is a synonym for gun registration, and then take our guns we had better defend our Second Amendment until they kill us. Many of them will die too!

  7. Where’s all the law enforcement worship now?

    No “thank you for your service” ?

  8. Why was the classroom door unlocked, when they had an armed psycho outside of the school? I was reading reports of police pursuing the suspect for 12 mins before he entered the school. It just doesn’t add up. This is the first I’ve read of the police waiting in the hallway for an hour. It makes me sick. Someone should’ve been able to find a key or bust the door open, before an hour had passed. They must’ve heard shots being fired and children screaming. It’s an all out tragedy. Imagine the scene the first responders witnessed after the shooter had been killed and they went in to find the dead/wounded. Imagine the terror the survivors endured. It had to be traumatizing for everyone involved.

  9. Sounds to me like the only person these policemen were protecting was the shooter. These heartless cowards – and their chief – need to do some serious jail time. No excuses. No mercy.

  10. These cops clearly aren’t up for the task of protecting their community. But at the same time, these are the “good guys with a gun” (and body armor), and they weren’t able to stop the “bad guy with a gun.” There’s all this hyperbole and hand wringing about what went wrong with this incident–and plenty went wrong–but the only solutions that are offered from the right are related to: removing doors from schools; arming and training teachers; securing/hardening school campuses (e.g., fencing, towers, armed guards); addressing mental health. But, what about other emergencies (like a fire), how are kids supposed to evacuate a building with only one set of doors? Do teachers have time and inclination to be armed fighters (and who pays for the training and weapons when school districts are already in financial straits)? Do you really want your 8 year old to go to a school that more closely resembles Goose Creek Correctional Facility than your local elementary school? And anyone who murders 19 kids clearly isn’t all there and has severe mental health issues, but how do you locate him? Do you have every person in this country undergo a comprehensive mental examination? And then what, lock them up if they say the wrong thing? (There’s already significant mistrust of government in many conservative circles–even serious mistrust of social media and tech companies–so how exactly are we going to get those people to show up for their mental health exam?) This also sounds insanely Orwellian…

    The left is asking for: universal background checks; limits on specific styles of firearms and equipment; age restrictions; and licensing requirements. The current background check system needs overhauled regardless of any new changes, but requiring background checks is little more than an inconvenience. And it would require that person-to-person sales be handled via a registered shop, likely for a fee–not convenient, but surmountable. Removing select weapons platforms from the legal market wouldn’t be popular, but it wouldn’t prevent people from protecting themselves or hunting. Yes, at 18 you can join the army and vote, but you can’t buy alcohol or marijuana. Waiting 3 more years, providing some additional time to mature, would be lame for some folks, but it’s not the end of the world. And maybe the idea of having to complete a safety and proficiency class to obtain a permit to purchase and carry really ain’t a bad idea–not everyone who buys a gun even knows how to handle one.

    I’m sure this post will get thrashed, but before you dog pile on, maybe ask yourself what you personally are fighting for. I get it–you don’t misuse weapons, so why should you have to be restricted. Well, I don’t drink and drive, but it’s still against the law and in order to operate a vehicle, I have to have a State issued license. If you jump to the extreme–the “libs are coming for your guns”–you aren’t a part of the discussion on how to improve the situation, but you are for the status quo.

  11. Oh look the left wing and their media are getting a two-for-one here. Like always they’re coming for your guns and now, all they had to do was spin a little second guessing of the cops (that’s never hard to find) and now they have the right wing, law and order party, bashing law enforcement right there with them.

    You make it too easy for the left. Wake up.

  12. Ever since Columbine the protocol has been first on, first in, search and destroy. That makes twice now that cowards with badges have been derilect in their duties to act. First in Parkland and now Uvalde. Those that failed to act should be fired, decertified and face any applicable criminal charges and civil penalties.

    Death Before Dishonor
    This We’ll Defend
    To Serve and Protect
    It’s a Good Day To Die

    Are all codes that mean something greater than one’s self and should never be broken if you have a duty and obligation to defend others…….especially the most defensless.

  13. How does an 18 year old unemployed kid afford two very expensive rifles, optics, body armor, 800 rounds of ammo,etc? And why was the door to the school through which he entered unlocked minutes before his arrival? Why did the police stand down for 40 minutes even though there were 911 calls made from the classroom indicating an active shooter? Questions that will probably never be answered in a meaningful way.

    • Not to mention the wrecked truck he was driving. It was a very expensive truck and how did it end up disabled before the killer entered the school? Too many inconsistencies. The shooter entered the school via the back door that a teacher opened just before the perp entered the building. Just remember, that all that most people hear is what is reported on MSM so they are being steered to think a certain direction.

    • Right.
      Was this 18 yo on ssri’s?
      Why were parents being assaulted, tasered, pepper gassed and handcuffed in the parking lot?
      Who specifically gave the order to, “stand down”?
      Heard a little girl bled out – after 40 minutes trapped in this classroom with a spree killer.
      When will the 911 calls be released from the teachers and students in this school?
      When will the autopsies results be released?
      Something doesn’t add up.
      Classic false flag?
      Sandy Hook 2.0?
      There are multiple fronts of evil lurking amongst us – all for political power, gains, and goals?

      • I heard today that the individual who shot the school shooter was an off duty border patrol officer who was getting a haircut when his wife, who is a teacher at the school, texted him about the situation. He grabbed the barber’s shotgun and ran to the school where he shot the shooter! Don’t hear anything about THAT from the legacy media.

  14. 40% of Uvalde’s city budget goes to police. And we don’t have a policing problem in this country?? I’m not for defunding, but we can do better.

  15. Given where we are as a country, we knew that this kind of atrocity was going to reoccur, as indeed it did! Are we a country of lost and empty souls with a “manhood” capable of only moaning and wailing? Along with the “demented,” we others “claim” the right to own and make personal use of assault rifles. Make no mistake, this atrocity will happen again and again as long as our esteemed “manhood” proves itself incapable of doing anything other than watching mothers weep for their dead! As such, is this country’s contemptible leadership on par with the demented?

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