Plenty of questions remain over the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre. But three days into the investigation, one thing is now for certain: law enforcement officials catastrophically mismanaged their response as 19 children and two teachers were killed inside a single classroom.
“From the benefit of hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course it was the wrong decision—period,” Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steven McCraw told reporters at a tense press conference on Friday. McCraw was referring to the call by the on-scene commander at the time of Tuesday’s attack to not enter the classroom where an 18-year-old gunman had been located for more than an hour. The damning assessment comes a day after officials confirmed that “numerous” officers had been stationed just outside the classroom—only to retreat and wait for a special tactical team to arrive.
“There’s no excuse for that,” McCraw continued, before appearing to offer exactly that: “Again, I wasn’t there.”
"How many kids could have been saved had they breached the room?"
"I don't know." pic.twitter.com/TDbElnY4mV
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 27, 2022
The press conference is sure to fuel public outrage as questions mount over the nearly 90-minute delay in police response—and what exactly transpired between the first 911 calls and when police eventually killed the 18-year-old gunman. In the wake of Tuesday’s massacre—the second deadliest school shooting in US history—law enforcement officials have repeatedly offered contradictory accounts of how they handled the shooting inside Robb Elementary School.
Texas DPS official refuses to say why officers didn't breach the door of the classroom for the hour that the Uvalde shooter was in there shooting children. pic.twitter.com/br2fdYruty
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 26, 2022
“If I thought it would help, I would apologize,” McCraw said on Friday. For the family members of Tuesday’s massacre, it surely won’t.