Its chief Texas Department of Public Safety Says law enforcement officers should have gone to the classroom soon after they killed 19 children and two teachers in the Uvalade, Texas massacre.
Commander Mohammad was at the scene of the tragic incident Rob Primary School The decision turned the incident into a “barricaded suspect” situation – not an “active shooter” – a decision that Texas Department of Public Safety director Steven McCraw said at a news conference Friday was wrong.
“From a retrospective point of view, where I am now, of course, it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. Duration. There is no excuse for that, “McCormack said.
The 18-year-old gunman entered the school at 11:33 a.m. Tuesday, but officers did not enter the classroom until 12:50 a.m., McCormack added. At the time, 911 received multiple calls from students inside the classroom, McCrae said. The students said they were alive and asked the police to come and help.
However, the commander “was convinced at the time that there was no further threat to the children and the matter was barricaded and it was time to organize with the appropriate equipment to approach them,” McCrack continued.
“Based on the information we have, there were children in that classroom who were at risk, and it was actually an active shooter situation, and not a barricaded subject,” McCrae said.
The first call to 911 about the gunman came at 11:30 a.m. when he fell into a ditch near the school and at 12:03 p.m., calls from students inside the school began, USA Today reported.
One student’s first call lasted one minute and 20 seconds, whispered to him and said he was in room 112, McCrae said. Then came another call from the same student, one at 12:10 pm where he suggested that multiple people had died, another at 12:13 pm and then again at 12:16 pm informing them that eight to nine students were still alive.
Other calls came from students informing law enforcement what was happening. The sound of gunfire can be heard during the call.
911 received a call from the first student at 12:36 which lasted 21 seconds, McCrae said. The student was told to “stay in line and be very calm,” he said. The caller told the operator, “He shot at the door.”
At 12:43 pm and 12:47 pm, the student asked “Please send the police now” and then at 12:46 pm he said he could “hear the police on the side,” McCrae said.
“It simply came to our notice then. Apparently, they were at risk, “McCormack said.
At 12:50 p.m., McCrae said police killed the gunman. Audio of the shooting was heard, and a minute later audio was heard of officers removing students from the room.
According to the timeline, before entering the school, the gunman crashed his vehicle into a ditch near the school at 11:28 a.m. and fired shots at the building when he approached two people from a nearby funeral home, according to the timeline. A school resource officer came to the school but instead confronted a teacher in the back of the building, not the shooter.
The gunman entered the building through a door, opened fire on a teacher and opened fire at the adjoining classroom at 11:33 a.m., McCrae said. At least 100 rounds were discharged, investigators determined based on audio evidence.
In Uvalade, three police officers from the police department entered the school within two minutes and met with four others, three from the police department and one from the sheriff’s deputy, McCrae said.
The two officers who first entered the school were shot in the initial encounter with the suspect, and since then, according to Macro’s timeline, officers have not involved the suspect for more than an hour.
The gunman fired again at 11:37, 11:38, 11:40 and 11:44 minutes, McCrae said. More police arrived by 11:51 and by 12:03 there were 19 police officers in the school hallway. Before they could break in, police found the key from a doorman because the doors to the two classrooms were locked.
Members of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit arrived at the scene at 12:15 p.m., and at 12:21 a.m., at the same time, McCrae said the suspect, who was said to have fired at the door, had gone down the police hallway. They assaulted and killed the suspect in Room 111 at 12:50 p.m., McCrae said.
Dozens of magazines were found along the suspect’s path, inside his home, where he crashed his car, around the school, on the floor of a classroom and inside his rifle. He had more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, including 142 spent cartridges found inside the school. McCrae said 35 spent law enforcement cartridges, eight in the hallway and 27 in the classroom where the suspect was killed.