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Anger Mounts Over Delayed Police Response to Texas School Shooting

Anger Mounts Over Delayed Police Response to Texas School Shooting

Texas law enforcement is facing harsh criticism as new information continues to emerge about its inadequate response to Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde County, which left 19 children and two adults dead. It was the second mass shooting in the U.S. this month – occurring less than two weeks after a racially motivated killing spree at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket – and the deadliest since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

The 18-year-old suspect Salvador Ramos allegedly crashed his truck into a ditch near Robb Elementary around 11:30am on Tuesday. Armed with an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle, he then entered the school through an unlocked door, barricaded himself inside two connected classrooms, and began firing indiscriminately at students and teachers, according to the Associated Press. Ramos was in the school for at least an hour before a Border Patrol team gunned him down.

Local authorities have since made inconsistent reports regarding the timeline and details surrounding the rampage. In a press conference on Friday, Colonel Steven McCraw of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) attempted to address why “19 officers” failed to break into the classroom until 12:58pm, though they had already arrived at Robb Elementary by 11:44am, just minutes after Ramos began shooting.

“The on-scene commander at that time believed that it had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject,” McCraw said. “With the benefit of hindsight. . . of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision, period. There’s no excuse for that.”

There are accounts of repeated 911 calls made by children who were trapped in the classroom with the shooter for over 75 minutes despite the presence of law enforcement just outside. It is unclear how 19 officers could have possibly remained under the impression that there were no longer any lives at risk for that entire duration of time.

As Uvalde grieves, the National Rifle Association is proceeding with plans to host its annual meeting in Houston this weekend. A number of scheduled speakers and performers have backed out in light of the shooting, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott who will instead return to Uvalde. Former President Donald Trump is still set to address the convention.

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