NEWS & ANALYSIS

Texas Officer Gives Timeline of School Shooting, Admits Mistakes Were Made

McCraw gave a timeline of events, one that had been lacking in the hours and days after the shooting when questions arose as to why officers did not immediately pursue the shooter into the school.


Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw held a press conference on Friday to detail the timeline of the Uvalde school massacre on Tuesday and address questions as to the law enforcement response.McCraw gave a timeline of events, one that had been lacking in the hours and days after the shooting when questions arose as to why officers did not immediately pursue the shooter into the school and attempt to prevent him from killing the 19 children and 2 women who lost their lives that day.

Prior to laying that out, McCraw informed the public that, despite initial accounts to the contrary, there was no resource officer at the school at the time the gunman arrived. That resource officer was shortly called to the scene, where the officer drove around to the back of the school only to find a teacher there. The resource officer had passed right by the gunman, who was hiding behind a vehicle. That resource officer was called to the scene in response to a 911 call.McCraw was not able to say why the officer was not stationed at the school. The Uvalde school district has 6 resource officers assigned to their area.

The suspect was shooting in between the vehicles at 11:30 am, and multiple shots were fired at the school at 11:32. At 11:33, he entered the school and began shooting into rooms 111 or 112. The suspect, McCraw said, “shot more than 100 rounds based on the audio evidence at that time, at least 10o rounds.

“The door the gunman used to gain entry to the school was propped open by a teacher, McCraw said.

At 11:35 am, three police officers went into the school through the same doors as the suspect. These were officers with the Uvalde police department, and were later followed by additional Uvalde officers, along with the county sheriff. Three officers were shot, receiving “grazing wounds.” The suspect was inside a classroom at that time, with the door locked.

11:37 saw an additional 16 rounds fired by the shooter. At 11:51 police sergeants and border agents arrived. Shortly later, there were 19 officers in the hallways at the time. VORTAC tactical officers arrived by 12:15 pm.12:21 saw more gunfire, and the suspect was “believed to be at the door.” At 12:50, agents breached the door with the use of a key and killed the suspect.

Students made 911 calls from their cell phones during this time. One student called and whispered that she was in 112, saying at 12:15 that there were multiple injured and dead. Another call was made from room 111. The Facebook posts that were mentioned by Governor Greg Abbott initially were actually direct messages stating the shooter’s intentions.
 
At about 12:45, a student begged 911 to send police. 12:46, that student said she could hear police “next door.” But at 12:50, officers had shot the suspect and were clearing the living from the classrooms.
When asked why officers didn’t go in sooner, McCraw said that “[The Chief of Police] was convinced at that time that there was no more threat to the children and that the subject was barricaded and that they had time to organize with the proper equipment to go in.”

McCraw said additionally that law enforcement knows that they made poor decisions. “It was the wrong decision,” he said, not to enter the school and take out the gunman initially.

This article was originally published at The Post Millennial.