Police in Uvalde had rifles earlier than known

Police in Uvalde had rifles earlier than known

Uvalde, Texas (AP) – Many police officers armed with rifles and at least one ballistic shield stood and waited in the school corridor for almost an hour, while an armed person committed 19 pupils of elementary school and two teachers, according to Monday’s news. report marking the latest embarrassing revelation of law enforcement failure to prevent the attack.

Officers with heavier firepower and tactical equipment were there within 19 minutes of the gunman’s arrival on campus – earlier than previously known, according to documents reviewed by the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV.

The news report, which did not mention the source of the documents, however, intensifies the anxiety and questions about why the police did not act earlier to stop the May 24 massacre in the classroom of Robb Primary School.

The information is to be presented at a public hearing of the Texas Senate in Austin on Tuesday. Investigators say the latest information indicates that the officers had more than enough firepower and protection to kill the gunman long before they did, the media reported.

The timeline cited in the documents by American-Statesman and KVUE included footage from inside the school showing the 18-year-old gunman indifferently entering through the back door at 11:33 a.m., walking toward a classroom and shooting. just before it clogs. The video shows 11 police officers entering the school three minutes later, media reported.

School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo called the Uvalde Police Department’s landline and said the suspect “fired a lot” with an AR-15 rifle and overtook police officers at the school, who said they were armed only with pistols. , sockets have been reported.

Four minutes later, at 11:44 a.m., the body camera video recorded the sound of multiple shots. At 11:52 a.m., the first ballistic shield arrived as officers waited eager to act. Arredondo tried to find a key to the classroom door, although no one is believed to have tried to open the door, the stores said.

Another officer with a ballistic shield arrived at 12:03 p.m. and another came with a shield two minutes later. About 30 minutes before police finally broke down the classroom door at 12:50 p.m., Arredondo was heard wondering aloud if the gunman could be shot through a window. Only at 12:46 p.m. Arredondo told regular team members to break down the door when they were ready, the stores said.

Last week, the San Antonio Express-News reported that the school surveillance video did not show police trying to open the door leading to the classrooms where the massacre took place. The New York Times also reported that two Uvalde police officers told the deputy sheriff that they missed a fleeting opportunity to shoot the gunman while he was still out of school because they feared they would hit children.

Delays in law enforcement response have been the focus of federal, state and local research into the massacre and its aftermath. Questions about the answer to law enforcement began days after the massacre. Col. Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said May 27 that Arredondo made the “wrong decision” when he chose not to invade the classroom for more than 70 minutes, even when fourth-graders were trapped inside. in two classes. calling 911 for help.

Arredondo later said he did not consider himself responsible and assumed that someone else had taken control of the law enforcement response. Arredondo has repeatedly denied requests for comment to the Associated Press.

State police initially said the gunman entered through an outside door opened by a teacher. A Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman said May 31, however, that the teacher closed the door after realizing that a gunman was on campus but did not lock properly.

On June 2, State Senator Roland Gutierrez said it was a “system failure” that Arredondo received no information about calls for help from people inside the school because he had no two-way radio connection to city police.

“I want to know exactly who received the 911 calls,” Gutierrez told a news conference.

Uvalde’s school committee heard from members of the public on Monday, including relatives of those killed in the attack. In turn, they criticized the reaction of the police and generally what they described as loose security measures at the school.

Lyliana Garcia, 16, is the daughter of teacher Irma Garcia, who was shot dead, and José Garcia, who died of a heart attack two days later. They had four children – a Marine, a student, a seventh grader and Liliana.

“Knowing being an orphan at such a young age is unthinkable,” he told the school council. “These are the consequences my family has to suffer because of the lack of proper care. I would like to share an excerpt from one of my sister’s anxious cries. He said, “My mom died protecting her students, but who was protecting my mom?”

A legislative committee examining the response of law enforcement authorities concluded another day of closed-door hearings in Uvalde on Monday.

State spokesman Dustin Burroughs, who chairs the school’s shooting committee, said early in the meeting that the committee would hear more testimony from the Uvalde Police Department, as well as another school district officer and member. of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Following Barrow’s opening remarks during the committee hearing in Uvalde, the committee went to an executive meeting, preventing the public from hearing witness statements. Burroughs did not appear immediately after the executive branch meeting Monday afternoon to make a statement on the day’s deposition.

Barrows said the testimony would continue Tuesday in Austin. He said he hoped to provide information on when at least one preliminary report would be released.

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Find more AP coverage of Uvalde school shootings: https://apnews.com/hub/uvalde-school-shooting

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