Police inaction of a school district police chief and other law enforcement officers is being blamed for the death of 19 students and 2 teachers in Uvalde, Texas.
The police chief and law enforcement officers have become the center of an investigation into last week’s shocking school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
After waiting for more than an hour to confront the shooter, police could face discipline, lawsuits, and even criminal charges.
As the nation’s deadliest school shooting in nearly a decade, the attack on a fourth-grade classroom left 19 children and two teachers dead confused and frustrated the public for three days.
Officials acknowledged Friday that students and teachers repeatedly pleaded for help with 911 operators, while police chiefs told more than a dozen officers to wait in a hallway of Robb Elementary School.
According to law enforcement officials, they believed the suspect was barricaded inside adjoining classrooms and the attack was over.
It has been questioned whether any more lives were lost as a result of the police not acting quicker to stop the gunman, and who should be held responsible for the incident based on the Police chief’s decision and the officers’ apparent willingness to follow his directions against established active-shooter protocols.
Law enforcement officials from other agencies said that the police chief was urged to let them move in because children were in danger as the gunman fired at students.
The officials spoke anonymously to the Associated Press because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.
Audio recordings recorded by one of the officials showed officers from other agencies telling the police chief that the shooter was still active and that stopping him was the priority. However, it was unclear why the police chief ignored their warnings.
Governor Greg Abbott, who praised the Police Department for saving lives earlier this week, said he had been misled about the initial response and promised to conduct an investigation into “exactly who knew what when they were in charge and what they did.”
I think the bottom line is: why didn’t they choose the strategy that would have allowed them to get in there, eliminate the killer, and rescue the children?” Abbott said.
Pete Arredondo, chief of the Uvalde School District police, decided that the group of officers should wait to confront the attacker on the belief that the active attack had ended, according to Steven McCraw, head of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Ramos was shot and killed by officers shortly after a janitor gave officers keys to open the classroom door so they could enter the room.
The Uvalde police were stationed outside Arredondo’s home on Friday but did not explain why they were there. Arredondo was not immediately available for comment.