Police held back feds from charging school shooter – media — Analysis

Reports say that US Border Patrol agents delayed going after the gunman at Texas school who had killed 21 students because of local police officers

Not only were local police slow to confront the shooter who killed 19 children and two adults in Tuesday’s Texas school massacre, they also reportedly refused to allow federal agents to confront the gunman until nearly an hour after they’d arrived on the scene.

Specially equipped US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents, who arrived at the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school between noon and 12:10pm, weren’t allowed by local police to breach the adjoining classrooms in which the shooter had locked himself until just before 1pm, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing unidentified federal officials.

When they arrived at school, the federal agents discovered a chaotic scene. Children were being pulled out of their windows by strangers and officers tried to establish a perimeter. Agents arrived at the school. “far earlier than previously known,” didn’t understand why they weren’t allowed to immediately charge the gunman, the Times said.

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“We were told to wait,”Yahoo News was informed Friday by a Border Patrol official. “We were told to wait and wait, and the team wanted to go. But you have to understand, CBP is not the lead agency, so they had to wait, and now look what happened.”

Uvalde can be found west of San Antonio. It is about 80 miles from Mexico’s border. Tuesday’s incident began when a 911 caller reported seeing a man with a gun outside Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School. Salvador Ramos (age 18), was identified as the shooter. He entered the school via an open door at around 11:40.

According to Steven McCraw, Texas’ director of public safety, the officers did not confront Ramos immediately as required by policing protocols in cases of active shooters. Instead, they stood outside fourth-grade classrooms where Ramos was locked up, McCraw said. As more than 45 minutes ticked by, students inside the classroom desperately called 911 for help, in at least one case using a dead teacher’s phone.

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At the time, the school district’s police chief, Pete Arredondo, thought there wasn’t a threat to other children inside the rooms, supposing that the suspect had barricaded himself, so officers waited for tactical gear before breaching the locked door. After the door was unlocked by the janitor, officers entered the room and were reportedly able to kill the gunman.

“From the benefit of hindsight, where I’m sitting now, of course it was not the right decision,”McCraw stated. “It was the wrong decision, period. This is unacceptable. But again, I wasn’t there, but I’m just telling you, from what we know, we believe there should’ve been an entry as soon as you can.” He added that even if more children weren’t at risk of being shot – an assessment that turned out to be wrong – there may have been injured people whose lives could have been saved if they were quickly given treatment.

According to The Times, police initially attempted to get into the classrooms. However, they fell back when fired on. Two officers sustained injuries. It wasn’t clear to CBP agents why their team was needed and the local SWAT team didn’t respond.

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Multiple media outlets reported that parents were taken away from the scene and handcuffed, after begging police to help their children. Javier Cazares whose daughter Jacklyn died in the accident said that he was among six to seven fathers who were ordered by police not to return home after hearing gunshots inside the school. “We wanted to storm the building,”Cazares said this to the Washington Post. “We were saying, ‘Let’s go’, because that is how worried we were, and we wanted to get our babies out.”



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