[imagesource: Pete Luna / Uvalde Leader-News / Handout via Reuters]
The school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 children and two teachers dead, is the worst in the state’s history.
18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos, who was eventually killed by law enforcement, spent roughly an hour inside two adjoining classrooms full of young children, which has led many to question why he wasn’t taken down quicker.
Those questions were valid when they were first asked and they’re even more valid following the shocking admission made yesterday by Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw.
Just three minutes after Ramos began his rampage, he could and should have been stopped by law enforcement on the scene.
Here’s NBC News:
A door to a classroom where the Uvalde school shooter was holed up was unlocked while police searched for a key to get in…
“We do know this, there’s compelling evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary was an abject failure and antithetical to everything we’ve learned over the last two decades since the Columbine massacre,” [McCraw] told lawmakers in Austin…
“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from (entering rooms) 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” he said.
Ramos’ carnage only ended after a Border Patrol tactical unit finally entered the classroom and killed him.
Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police chief, has really come under intense scrutiny. He’s spoken at length about how he was hamstrung by various factors as he waited outside the classroom, but many of his excuses don’t fly.
McCraw confirmed recent published reports that the adjoining classrooms are only locked from the outside, so the shooter, or anyone, could have entered.
“There’s no way to lock the door from the inside and there’s no way for the subject to lock the door from the inside,” he said.
I’ll repeat this one more time for emphasis.
Just three minutes after Ramos entered the school, 11 police officers were inside the building. In other words, Ramos could have been confronted within minutes, but officers waited for a key that they didn’t even need.
“One hour, 14 minutes and 8 seconds. That’s how long the children waited and the teachers waited in rooms 111 (and 112) to be rescued,” he said. “And while they waited, the on-scene commander waited for radio and rifles; and he waited for shields and he waited for SWAT.”
…there’s no evidence that officers on the scene were ever asked to check the door handle to see if it might be open, according to McCraw, who lapsed into a near-mocking tone of voice.
“How about trying the door and see if it’s unlocked. It’s what we used to call a ‘clue,'” he said. “Why not? Of course no one had.”
Just a hunch, but I’d probably try the door.
Earlier this week, Trevor Noah took a closer look at how law enforcement has bungled the handling of the fallout at every step.
He starts talking about the shooting from the 5:40 mark:
Rick Vasquez, a former chief of the Firearms Technology Branch at the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, spoke with VICE about the failure of law enforcement to act as they should have:
“It shouldn’t have mattered,” Vasquez said of the gunman having an AR-15. “It’s the mission first. That’s what your job is. If somebody is under threat, you’re there to defend them. If you have multiple people with handguns, of course it’s more dangerous because a handgun is lower power than a rifle, but it’s still a very mild tactical issue. Why didn’t they run around the building and shoot him through the window? It doesn’t make sense. It’s a very simple tactical thing. It’s Boy Scout level.”
Imagine reading that as a parent who has lost a child (the children killed were aged between eight and 11) and trying to find any sort of closure?
The elementary school will now be demolished, according to local mayor Don McLaughlin, and a new school built for its nearly 600 pupils.
[imagesource: YouTube / News24] You're staring down the barrel of a policeman's gun as ...
[imagesource: Amazon] In news that is likely to cause more than a few chewed fingernail...
[imagesource: Stephen R. Sylvanie / USA TODAY Sports] UFC 276's showdown between Americ...
[imagesource: Ignacio Diaz Bobillo / Astronomy Photographer of the Year] More than 3 00...
[imagesource: isabela66 / Shutterstock.com] The movie It ruined clowns for an entire ge...