The Uvalde Texas mass shooting at Robb Elementary School left many questions regarding why the shooter was not stopped sooner and why the school’s security was not stronger.
At a special Texas Senate committee on Tuesday night, the Texas Department of Public Safety Director, Steve McCraw, delivered a testimony that outlined the multitude of failed security attempts at the Elementary School.
McCraw described the law enforcement’s response to the Uvalde shooting as an “abject failure” and stated that the violence was “antithetical to everything we’ve learned over the last two decades since the Columbine massacre.” He believes that the police could have stopped the shooter three minutes after his arrival, and he blamed the on-scene commander who “decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”
“The officers had weapons; the children had none. The officers had body armor; the children had none. The officers had training; the subject had none,” said McCraw. “One error, 14 minutes, and 8 seconds. That’s how long the children waited and the teachers waited in rooms 111 to be rescued.”
McCraw defined the basic safety failures at Robb Elementary School that if avoided, could have helped fight such a tragic attack. He explained that the gunman had easy access to the school through the west entrance as the exterior door did not lock and that to lock it properly, someone would have had to do so from outside while leaving everybody else inside.
In addition, the classroom doors were “dysfunctional” and “not secure” considering that the locking system did not operate properly in either of the rooms chosen by the gunman. McCraw declared, “This is ridiculous and inexcusable if you’re looking at it from a security standpoint.”
Although the school’s security malfunctions and the response from certain officers led to the death of 19 children and 2 teachers, McCraw’s testimony also highlighted brave and critical actions from both teachers and law enforcement officers.