Authorities Are Investigating The Police Response To The Texas Elementary School Shooting
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Featured Image Credit: Carlos Escalona/ZUMA Press Wire. Bob Daemmrich/Alamy Live News
Authorities have confirmed they are investigating the police response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas, Uvalde.
USA Today reports the probe to see how authorities handled the incident and how the gunman managed to get into the school.
Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez said: "This is an ongoing investigation that is led by the Texas Rangers. I understand questions are surfacing regarding the details of what occurred.
"I know answers will not come fast enough during this trying time, but rest assured that with the completion of the full investigation, I will be able to answer all the questions that we can."
Texas law enforcement has faced criticism after it emerged at a press conference that the gunman had locked himself in a classroom for an hour before being shot and killed.
This Texas DPS press conference on the incident response happening right now is a disaster. Conflicting statements, big gaps in information, refusal to answer most questions. No answer on why it took so long to move in on the shooter.— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) May 26, 2022
While the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was locked in that room, he managed to kill all of his 21 victims, including 19 children and two teachers.
The Guardian reports that, according to officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety, a police officer briefly confronted the gunman before charging through a back door, but gave conflicting accounts as to whether he attempted to shoot Ramos.
It was also confirmed that ‘numerous’ police officers did not try to break into the classroom initially.
Instead, they waited for the specialist tactical unit and began evacuating children and staff members from other parts of the building.
The south Texas regional director of the state’s department of public safety, Victor Escalon, said during the press conference that nobody 'confronted' the gunman, and, ‘approximately an hour later’, US Border Patrol accessed the classroom and killed the gunman.
Associated Press reports that parents and onlookers around the campus urged law enforcement to do more to intervene as the massacre unfolded.
Juan Carranza, who reportedly saw the attack from outside his house, overheard a woman yell to police: “Go in there! Go in there!”
Javier Cazares, whose fourth-grade daughter, Jacklyn, was killed in the shooting, raced to the school upon hearing a gunman had entered the campus and, as he arrived, noticed the police were crowded outside.
Distressed with the police not moving, he told Associated Press reporters that he said to other onlookers: “Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to.
“More could have been done.”
He added: “They were unprepared.”
Cleveland-based school safety consultant Kenneth Trump acknowledged how parents are angry about the lingering unanswered questions following Thursday’s (May 26) press conference, according to the Texas Tribune.
“The frustration for parents is real when they hear not only that [police] got in but they couldn’t breach — or did not breach — that classroom,” he said.
“The question is not only did they have the adequate manpower, but did they have the equipment to handle that and did they have prior training, joint partnership, exercises?”