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Justice Dept. to examine Uvalde police response

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visit a memorial on Sunday outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Associated Press/Photo by Dario Lopez-Mills

Justice Dept. to examine Uvalde police response

The mayor of Uvalde, Texas, requested an in-depth federal probe as questions swirled about officers’ decisions and delays on the day a gunman killed 21 people at Robb Elementary School. On Friday, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said the on-scene commander at Tuesday’s fatal shooting thought children were no longer at risk and that they had time to respond to a barricaded suspect. McCraw admitted this was the wrong decision. Nineteen children and two teachers died inside classrooms 111 and 112. Video surveillance shows a teacher left an outside door propped open, and a school resource officer responding to the scene missed the shooter, who was firing into windows.

What happened inside the school? A student called 911 at 12:03, nearly 30 minutes after the gunman had entered the school and 20 minutes after officers followed. She whispered into the phone that children were hiding in the two classrooms and that a man was shooting. She called three times to report that her classmates were dead and begged police to come in. It took about 45 minutes for a tactical team to arrive and retrieve a key to open the doors. Previous reports said law enforcement tried to negotiate with the shooter, but McCraw did not include this information in his report. McCraw did not explain gaps in the timeline or why 911 operators knew children were dying and officers on the scene did not enter the room. One survivor said he heard an officer call for children to yell if they needed help. When one girl did, the shooter found her hiding spot and shot her. It is unclear whether she survived. Three responders were grazed with gunfire, but no police were seriously injured. McCraw said that if they had known it was still an active shooter situation, they would have breached the door immediately.

Dig deeper: Track WORLD’s latest coverage of the shooting here.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw speaks at a news conference Thursday in Uvalde, Texas. Getty Images/Photo by Michael M. Santiago

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Harrisburg, Pa.



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