Texas public safety official slams Uvalde police for ‘abject failure’ during mass shooting tragedy

Texas public safety official slams Uvalde police for ‘abject failure’ during mass shooting tragedy

On Tuesday, June 21, the Texas State Senate held a public hearing on the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School — which on May 24, left 19 children and two teachers dead in the town of Uvalde west of San Antonio. And Steven C. McCraw, who heads the Texas Department of Public Safety, was vehemently critical of the police response to the tragedy.

McCraw, according to the Washington Post, singled out Uvalde Consolidated ISD Police Chief Pete Arrendondo during the hearing and denounced his response to the crisis as an “abject failure.”

Post journalists Arelis R. Hernández, Timothy Bella and Mark Berman report that McGraw gave a “stark, minute-by-minute breakdown” of the events of May 24.

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“In McCraw’s telling, just three minutes after the gunman was in the school and entered a classroom, several police officers were also inside, some carrying rifles,” the reporters explain. “Within 19 minutes, police had a protective ballistic shield inside. Not long after, a student inside called 911, and more ballistic shields arrived. More gunfire periodically rang out from the attacker.”

The reporters continue, “But law enforcement officials still waited outside, entering the classroom only after a harrowing delay that featured multiple 911 calls from students inside. The police response has drawn widespread condemnation over the decision to wait so long to confront the gunman.”

Texas State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat, also testified during the hearing, offering a vivid description of his interactions with Uvalde residents since the tragedy. Gutierrrez recalled seeing “baby girls in their coffins.”

“I’ve spoken to families of all of the deceased — not quite all, but most,” Gutierrrez testified. “I’ve spoken to all of the families of the injured children. I have heard the most gruesome stories from little kids — from fourth graders, and stories I dare not say at this time.”

Another Democrat serving in the Texas State Senate, Royce West, commented that more teachers should have been invited to testify. West, sitting next to Gutierrez, observed, “We’re talking about school safety, but I don’t see any reference to teacher organizations being invited to provide us input in our deliberation process.”

Watch more of the hearing below:

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