Statewide NewsTexas Police Say Officers Delayed Confronting Uvalde Gunman: ‘It Was the Wrong Decision, Period’

It took well over an hour after the police arrived for a border patrol tactical team to kill the gunman at Robb Elementary School. 19 children and two teachers died.
May 27, 2022
In an emotional news conference, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw reported that up to 19 officers from various agencies were at Robb Elementary School about half of an hour after the perpetrator breached the school, but they did not attempt to enter the classroom where the shooter was located because an on-scene commander believed the perpetrator was not an “active shooter.”

The local commander believed it was a “barricaded subject” scenario and that police had time to regroup, form a strategy, and wait for tactical backup.

McCraw, who was not there when the shooting happened, indicated that by 12:03 p.m. there were up to 19 officers at the school. The suspect, he explained, had started firing at the school at 11:31 a.m. and entered the building within minutes.

The director also stated that the shooter had dozens of magazines with him and more than 1,600 rounds of ammunition.

“There was 19, like I said, there was 19 officers in there, plenty of officers to do whatever needed to be done, with one exception. 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,” McCraw said in Uvalde on Friday.

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The Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) team he referenced is said to have killed the suspect at about 12:50 p.m.

“With the benefit of hindsight, where I’m sitting now, of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision, period. There is no excuse for that. But again, I wasn’t there, but I’m just telling you, from what we know, and we believe, there should have been an entry at that as soon as you can,” McCraw said.

McCraw repeatedly emphasized the “active shooter doctrine,” which he said Texas “embraces.”

Three City of Uvalde police officers entered through the door the perpetrator had breached and took gunfire. Another three police officers and a deputy sheriff arrived later, but before the BORTAC team.

The suspect had also shot at two men at a funeral home near where he had crashed his vehicle before entering the school, though neither were injured. 

The perpetrator breached the school through a door that had been propped open by a teacher, McCraw reported.

Special Agent in Charge Oliver Rich of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was at the news conference and stated that the FBI will involve itself further in the investigation if “the facts bear out that there’s a federal nexus.”


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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."

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