A Texas law enforcement official has criticized the police response to the Uvalde school shooting, which he said they could have stopped within three minutes.
As NPR reports, Texas Department of Public Safety director Steve McCraw described the law enforcement response to the massacre at Robb Elementary School as an “abject failure.” He suggested the police, who took approximately an hour and 14 minutes to shoot and kill the perpetrator, should have breached the door of the classroom the shooter was in long before they actually did.
“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," said McCraw, who described it as "antithetical" to what safety officials have learned about active shooter situations across the country in the 23 years since Columbine High School. McCraw specifically criticized the on-scene commander, who made the decision to treat the situation as a barricade incident over an active shooter scene.
“We do know this, 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," said McCraw, per NBC News. He added that the commander “waited for a key” to the classroom the shooter was in, even though it “was never needed.”
Law enforcement has come under heavy scrutiny in the weeks since the shooting, but school district police chief Pete Arredondo has defended the response. He alleged that he “never considered himself the scene’s incident commander” as demands for accountability continue to mount. The shooting left 18 children, and two teachers dead.