Did Police Avoid Entering Texas School Because They Might Get Shot?

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Posted: May 27, 2022 6:00 AM
Did Police Avoid Entering Texas School Because They Might Get Shot?

Source: Kin Man Hui, San Antonio Express-News via AP

[UPDATE] 

It’s been a hellacious 36–48-hour period. We don’t have a timeline. Everything that was initially disclosed by authorities has been contradicted. Texas Department of Public Safety did not have a good presser yesterday. As Spencer noted, they squashed the story that Texas shooter, Salvador Ramos, was confronted by police when he entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The small border city has been a focal point for the nation given that Ramos committed the third deadliest school shooting in American history. He killed 19 kids and two teachers. He was killed by a Border Patrol agent. 

On Wednesday, the Associated Press had a story that Ramos was confronted by an armed security guard at the school. Two police officers were also wounded in the exchange. Now, law enforcement says that Ramos entered the school without confrontation. Yet, there’s still video of concerned locals yelling at police to enter the building to stop the carnage. Why didn’t they go inside? It took an hour for tactical teams to arrive on the scene. [UPDATE: As I noted at the end of this post, things are fluid and could change. They have--two officers were shot after they had entered the school.] 

Now a state official says the hesitancy was due to the possibility that they could get shot (via Mediaite):

A Texas Department of Public Safety official said responding officers were cautious as they entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas because “they could’ve been shot.”

Nineteen children and two teachers were murdered after authorities say an 18-year-old male entered with a rifle 12 minutes after he crashed a car near campus.

[…]

Reporters demanded answers during a contentious press conference Thursday afternoon. State law enforcement officials addressed the public a day after some parents with children in the school said they were prevented from going in by officers.

One girl inside the room reportedly bled for an hour after she was shot. She died at a hospital. It is unknown if that hour might have saved her life.

[…]

On Thursday’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, the host discussed the Tuesday’s horrifying events with DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez.

Blitzer asked his guest if officers at the scene made the correct choice to wait for backup before they went after the gunman.

The publication clipped what Lt. Olivarez said:

The active shooter situation, you want to stop the killing, you want to preserve life, but also one thing that – of course, the American people need to understand — that officers are making entry into this building. They do not know where the gunman is. They are hearing gunshots.

They are receiving gunshots. At that point, if they proceeded any further not knowing where the suspect was at, they could’ve been shot, they could’ve been killed, and that gunman would have had an opportunity to kill other people inside that school.

I’m not so sure Texas police have any talking points that will satisfy the public’s mystification about why law enforcement didn’t enter the building. Scot Peterson was a former school resource officer in Parkland, Florida who was fired after it was determined he did nothing to confront Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooter Nikolas Cruz. 

We’ll have to wait until all the facts are present, but for now, until Texas DPS finally clears up the timeline, this isn’t a good look overall. That video of onlookers urging police to go inside which the Associated Press obtained definitely caught them off guard.  Watch this timeline change within the next few hours or days. Things are still fluid.