By Zachary Stieber
The law enforcement decision not to immediately storm the classroom where a school shooter was killing children “cost lives,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said on May 28, as Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.) called for the officers involved to be fired.
As many as 19 officers were in the hallway inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw revealed Friday. The officer in charge on the scene—who has been identified as Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo—made the decision that the shooter was “a barricaded suspect” with no one else alive in the classroom, but 911 calls showed that multiple children were still alive at the time, McCraw added.
The decision to wait—officers finally breached the door over an hour after the shooter entered the building, and killed the man—was “a bad decision, and that decision cost lives,” Patrick, a Republican, said on “Fox & Friends.”
Jim Volcsko, who trained officers on active shooter scenarios, told The Epoch Times that the training involved going directly to the threat and eliminating it.
Patrick noted that McCraw said that law enforcement made the “wrong decision.” But the lieutenant governor also praised the officers for entering the building, with the early entry resulting in several suffering wounds after the shooter shot at them.
“These policemen did the right thing in the beginning and many wanted to go in, and the police chief … you know he’ll live with this the rest of his life, but he was in charge, he was the incident commander. He made that decision to hold,” Patrick said.
Ultimately, after the arrival of heavier equipment, officers breached the door and went into the classroom, and shot the shooter.
Nineteen children, two teachers, and the shooter, named as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, were left dead.
No officers or officials have yet been disciplined for what happened.
Auchincloss, the congressman and a former Marine Corps officer, said on Fox that officers need to be fired.
“48 minutes. 100 shots fired. Officers need to lose their badges,” he said, referring to how officers spent about 48 minutes inside the building before breaching the door.
Rep. Tony Gonzalez (R-Texas), appearing on the same program, defended the response, relaying how he spoke with one of the officers, who told him that there was a “steel door and it was locked” and that law enforcement lacked the tools to pry it open.
Officers eventually found a janitor’s key and got through the door, but were then locked out of the classroom and chose not to force their way inside.
“These folks wanted to get in there as fast as they possibly could. These were their children. These were their neighbors,” Gonzalez said. He also said that he wanted to uncover all the facts of what took place.