At a press conference on Friday, Steven McCraw from the Texas Department of Public Safety said it was the “wrong decision, period” for law enforcement to wait 45 minutes in a hallway before confronting the gunman in the Uvalde school shooting on Tuesday.
- You say there were 19 officers gathered in the hallway or somewhere. What efforts were made to try and break through that door? You say it was locked. What efforts were the officers making to try and break through either that door or another door to get inside that classroom?
STEVEN MCCRAW: None at that time.
- Why? Why?
STEVEN MCCRAW: The-- the on-scene commander at the time believed that it had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject.
- Sir, you have people who are alive, children who are calling 911, saying, please send the police. They are alive. In that classroom, there are lives that are at risk. That's not protocol, is it?
STEVEN MCCRAW: We're well-- we're well aware of that.
- Right. But why was this decision made not to go in and rescue these children?
STEVEN MCCRAW: Again, you know, the on-scene commander considered it a barricaded subject and that there was time and there were no more children at risk. Obviously--
- What time was--
STEVEN MCCRAW: Obviously, you know, 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.
- What can you tell parents that were here waiting and asking for the police to go in?
- Is there an apology for them?
STEVEN MCCRAW: There was 19. Like I said, there was 19 officers in there. In fact, there was plenty of officers to do whatever needed to be done, with one exception is that the incident commander inside believed they needed more equipment and more officers to do a tactical breach at that point. That's why BORTAC was requested on the scene. As soon as they were there, they executed a search, or at least a dynamic entry, and went in. And of course--
Hey. Hey, I-- hey-- hey, with the benefit of-- hey, with the benefit of hindsight-- hey, the benefit of-- hey, stand by, stand by. Hey, stand by. Hey, stand by, all right?
I got it. Look, I got it. OK, hey, from the benefit of hindsight and where I'm sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision, period. There's no excuse for that. But again, I wasn't there. But I'm just telling you, from what we know, we believe there should have been an entry at that as soon as you can. Hey, when there's an active shooter, the rules change.
It's no longer, OK, it's no longer a barricaded subject. We don't have time. You don't worry about that or perimeters. And by the way, Texas embraces active shooter training, active shooter certification. And that doctrine requires officers-- we don't care what agency you're from, you don't have to have a leader on the scene. Every officer lines up, stacks up, goes and finds where those rounds are being fired at, and keep shooting until the subject is dead, period.