The police made a number of gross and unforgivable mistakes.
The actions of law enforcement agencies during the mass murder at a school in Uvalde, Texas, should be recognized as a “despicable mistake.” This was stated by the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steven McCraw.
On May 24, 2022, an armed criminal entered the school building, took hostages and subsequently shot 19 children and two teachers. According to McCraw, who told the state senators about the results of the investigation, the chief of the police department of the Uvalde School District, who commanded the operation, made “terrible decisions,” and the police were not trained properly. As a result, precious time was lost and lives were not saved.
One of the episodes that McCraw told about was related to the search for the key to the classroom where the criminal locked himself with hostages. The police were looking for the key, not knowing that this door could not be closed from the inside of the classroom and did not even try to check if it was closed.
According to the investigation, 19 police officers waited more than an hour for the arrival of the assault group. McCraw commented: “The police had guns, the children didn’t have them. The police had protective equipment, but the children didn’t. The police were trained – there is no criminal. The children and teachers in room 111 waited for their rescue for one hour, 14 minutes and eight seconds.”
“Three minutes after the perpetrator went into the school building, there were enough armed police in bulletproof vests to isolate, distract and neutralize him,” McCraw stressed. He added that the police were stopped by the commander, who “decided that the lives of policemen are more important than the lives of children.”
According to McCraw, Pete Arredondo, chief of the Uvalde School District Police Department, “was waiting for radios and guns, he was waiting for shields and waiting for the SWAT team to arrive. After all, he was waiting for a key that wasn’t needed.”
The head of the legal department of the Uvalde district asked the city not to publish materials related to the investigation of this crime.
Many parents and relatives of schoolchildren and school staff expressed outrage at the actions of the police.