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DPS Director: It was 'the wrong decision' not to engage Uvalde shooter sooner

Bri Kirkham
Texas Public Radio
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw (right) answers questions from journalists on Friday, May 27, 2022, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. A gunman killed 19 children and two faculty members at the school on Tuesday, May 24.

As children trapped inside a Uvalde classroom Tuesday were calling 911 and pleading for help from authorities, a police commander at the scene made the decision not to break into the room and engage the shooter who ultimately shot and killed 19 students.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said Friday the scene commander believed the shooter had barricaded himself in the classroom and that no more children were at risk.

“The on-scene commander at the time believed that it had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject,” he said. “Obviously, based upon the information we have, there were children in that classroom that were at risk, and it was, in fact, still an active shooter situation and not a barricaded subject.”

Bri Kirkham
Texas Public Radio
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw (right) points to a map of where the shooter entered the building at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.

McCraw said 19 officers were in the school at the time, and authorities were instead trying to get keys to the room instead of engaging the shooter.

The director later added: “With the benefit of hindsight, of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. There’s no excuse for that.”

The gunman also killed two teachers in the worst school shooting since 2012.

McCraw said the gunman entered the school through a door a teacher at the school left unlocked.

This is a developing story and will be updated.
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Julián Aguilar | The Texas Newsroom