87th LegislatureState SenateStatewide News‘Abject Failure,’ Public Safety Head Rails Against Police Response to Uvalde Shooting in Texas Senate Testimony

Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Department of Public Safety, took a grim inventory of police missteps during the Robb Elementary School shooting.
June 22, 2022
On Tuesday, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw testified before Texas state senators in a hearing of the Special Committee to Protect All Texans, which Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick formed in response to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde.

Highlights of his testimony include that the doors to the classrooms were unlocked as the perpetrator of the Robb Elementary School shooting remained inside and killed children, but officers failed to attempt to enter and confront the gunman.

McCraw also said that teachers did not have the ability to lock the classroom doors from the inside and that there were several unsecured entry points throughout the campus.

The school shooting on May 24 left 19 schoolchildren and two teachers dead and numerous others injured.

“There is compelling evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary was an abject failure and antithetical to everything we’ve learned over the last two decades since the Columbine massacre,” McCraw told senators.

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Without naming him, McCraw repeated criticisms of Chief Pete Arrendondo of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department, who has said he did not believe he was the on scene commander and defended his choice to enter the school without a radio.

In terms of the aftermath, McCraw said the decisions made that day “set our profession back a decade.”

The director indicated the investigation is still in progress and will be submitted to District Attorney Christina Busbee for her consideration.

McGraw further commented that there were a number of signs the 18-year-old shooter could be a risk to others, including messages to other social networking users, but none of them were reported.

McCraw said he was “disappointed in the social media industry for not being more proactive.”In a news conference at the Texas Capitol on Monday, Democratic senators repeated their calls for a special session to enact gun control measures, such as increasing the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."