Uvalde Police Could Have Stopped Gunman: DPS Official

AUSTIN, Texas — Regulation enforcement authorities had sufficient officers on the scene of the Uvalde college bloodbath to have stopped the gunman three minutes after he entered the constructing, the Texas public security chief testified Tuesday, announcing the police response an “abject failure.”

Law enforcement officials with rifles as a substitute stood and waited in a faculty hallway for practically an hour whereas the gunman carried out the Might 24 assault that left 19 kids and two academics lifeless.

Col. Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Division of Public Security, testified at a state Senate listening to on the police dealing with of the tragedy. Delays within the legislation enforcement response have change into the main target of federal, state and native investigations.

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Eight minutes after the shooter entered the constructing, an officer reported that police had a “hooligan” crowbar that they might use to interrupt down the classroom door, McGraw mentioned. Nineteen minutes after the gunman entered, the primary ballistic protect was introduced into the constructing by police, the witness testified.

McCraw instructed the Senate committee that Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde college district police chief, determined to place the lives of officers forward of the lives of kids.

The general public security chief started outlining for the committee a sequence of missed alternatives, communication breakdowns and different errors.

“It has been reported that he didn’t have a radio with him. That’s true. He didn’t,” McCraw mentioned of Arredondo.

McCraw additionally mentioned the classroom door couldn’t be locked from the within.

As well as, McCraw mentioned police and sheriff’s radios didn’t work inside the college; solely the radios of Border Patrol brokers on the scene labored inside the college, and even they didn’t work completely.

Questions concerning the legislation enforcement response started days after the bloodbath. McCraw mentioned three days after the capturing that Arredondo made “the mistaken choice” when he selected to not storm the classroom for greater than 70 minutes, at the same time as trapped fourth graders inside two school rooms had been desperately calling 911 for assist and anguished mother and father exterior the college urged officers to go inside.

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Arredondo later mentioned he didn’t contemplate himself the individual in cost and assumed another person had taken management of the legislation enforcement response. Arredondo has declined repeated requests for remark to The Related Press.

The 18-year-old gunman used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle.


Bleiberg and Related Press author Jamie Stengle contributed to this report from Dallas.

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