During Tuesday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that it’s “deeply disturbing” that Texas officials revealed that there were enough officers on scene to stop the school shooter in Uvalde within three minutes – instead of the hour and 14 minutes it did take. Two teachers and 19 students were killed in the shooting.
“What is President Biden’s reaction to Texas authorities saying the police response in Uvalde was an ‘abject failure’ and that the gunman, in theory, could have been stopped within three minutes?” a reporter asked.
“The actions that we have seen and the reports that we have seen is deeply concerning,” Jean-Pierre responded. “The President has said that.”
“As you know, DOJ is doing a review,” she added. “We’re going to leave it to their findings and their review before we’ll say anything more, but it is deeply disturbing to hear the reports on what happened on the ground on that day.”
Earlier that day, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw called the police response to the Uvalde school shooting an “abject failure,” and revealed that officers could have stopped the shooting within three minutes but officers waited for “a key that was not needed.”
“There’s 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 said.
“Three minutes after the subject entered the West building, there was sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract, and neutralize the subject,” McCraw continued. “The only thing stopping the hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”
Children were trapped inside one of the classrooms with the shooter for one hour, 14 minutes and eight seconds, McCraw said, as Uvalde school district police Chief Pete Arredondo “waited for a radio, and rifles. Then he waited for shields. Then he waited for SWAT. Lastly, he waited for a key that was never needed.”
“I have great reasons to believe it was never secured,” McCraw said of the door. “How about trying the door and seeing if it’s locked?”
“Obviously, not enough training was done in this situation, plain and simple. Because terrible decisions were made by the on-site commander,” McCraw added.