“There is compelling evidence that the police response to the attack on Robb Elementary School was a fiasco and contrary to everything we have learned in the past two decades since the Columbine massacre,” Colonel Stephen McGrath told the Texas Senate Special Committee. Protect all Texas residents.
“Three minutes after the body entered the western building, a sufficient number of armed officers were armed to isolate, divert and defuse the matter,” he continued. “The only thing blocking the entrance for officers between rooms 111 and 112 is the commander of the scene who decided to put the lives of the officers over the lives of the children.”
It’s unclear what happened in those 77 minutes because Texas officials gave conflicting descriptions of the response.
McCraw’s comments on Tuesday marked the first time an officer had provided basic information about the shooting in a week. The waiting results, he said, conflict with the active shooter’s protocol for quickly stopping the suspect.
The officers had guns, the children had nothing. The officers were wearing flak jackets, and the kids didn’t have anything, McGrath said. “Post-Columbine creed is clear, compelling, ambiguous. Stop killing. Stop dying.”
The Department of Public Safety’s timeline states that three minutes after the gunman entered the classroom, 11 police officers arrived at the school, many of them armed. The suspect then shot and wounded a number of officers who approached the classrooms and retreated to a hallway outside the classrooms. Then the police team stood on the sidewalk and did not approach the door for 73 minutes.
“While they waited, the position commander was waiting for a radio and weapons,” McGrath told Aradonto. “So he waited for the shields. So he waited for SWAT. Finally, he waited for a key he would never need.”
For an hour the officers did not try to break the door
However, according to law enforcement sources close to the investigation and report in the Tribune and American Statesman, preliminary evidence indicates that none of the officers attempted to open the doors until minutes before the shooting.
According to McGrath, the officers were not without weapons and equipment. However, at around 11:40 a.m., shortly after the gunman opened fire on the officers, Wolde called Aradonto by phone at the police station, asking for help, and radioing, says the DPS text.
An official also said that in the first minutes of his response, an extinguishing device was used to force entry to the scene, according to the chronology. However, the tool was not brought to school and was never used until about an hour after the officers arrived, as per the schedule.
A security photo obtained by the American statesman from Austin shows at least three officers in the hallway — two with pistols and tactical armor — at 11:52 a.m., 19 minutes after the gunman entered. The school.
In all, the officers approached four ballistic shields inside the school, the fourth of which came 30 minutes before the officers attacked the classrooms, the Tribune reported, citing official transcripts.
One official said, according to the US statesman, that they should act.
“If there are children, we should go there,” the official said. Another official replied: “It will be decided by who takes charge.”
At the end of the confrontation, Aradato asked loudly if the authorities would consider “pushing him out the window,” according to police sources. A body cam text showed Arutondo pointing to the other officers at 12:46 that they were supposed to break down the door if the SWAT response team was ready, which came four minutes later.
The report is only released after there is no transparency
The report – citing three different news organizations and unnamed sources – highlights the Texas authorities’ lack of public transparency in such a major incident. The report highlights his questions from Texas Democratic Senator Roland Guterres, who told CNN on Monday why police didn’t try to break down doors quickly.
“We see that there are officers who have enough weapons and equipment to storm that room,” he said. “I don’t understand why it didn’t happen and why they didn’t break into the room.
These answers should be there. They should not be influenced by the media like that. The law enforcement agency must tell us what went wrong. It’s a joke that we didn’t get this information. and herself.”
CNN has contacted Arredondo’s attorney, George Hyde, and the Uvalde Police Department about the reports.
Arutondo, who has not spoken publicly after the incident, said he will testify behind closed doors for the Texas House team investigating Tuesday’s shooting.
The new report angered grieving families, whose questions have yet to be answered.
“They need to be trained professionals,” Flores told police. “I don’t understand why they hesitated to come back… It’s not fair that we stood idly by for an hour and left them there with that sniper. That’s cheese, cheese, cheese.”
CNN’s Rosalina Nieves, Travis Caldwell, and Dave Allsopp contributed reporting.