A shooter murdered 19 children last month at an elementary school in Texas, but authorities apparently never attempted to force entry to the building before.
San Antonio Express-News stated that “Video footage shows that officials never even attempted to open a door that went to two classrooms at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde for 77 mins, between the time a gunman had entered the classrooms and murdered 21 people and cops finally breached the door and shot him dead,” which was learned from a law enforcement official that was involved in the investigation of law enforcement’s response to attack. “Investigators suspect that the 18-year-old gunman who murdered two teachers and 19 children at the school on May 24 couldn’t have locked the connected classrooms’ doors from the inside.”
The doors are said to be designed in such a way that they can only be unlocked or locked from the outside, and police may have believed that the door was locked. It is not known whether or not the classroom door where the 18-year-old Hispanic male was barricaded was even locked, according to the report.
The source told the local news that it didn’t matter whether or not the door was locked, because “officers had access to a ‘halligan’ – which is a crowbar-like tool that might have opened the door by force even if it was locked.”
The revelation follows a report from The New York Times in which it was revealed that a law enforcement officer with the city, rather than the school district, who had an AR-15 style weapon had the chance to shoot and kill the gunman before he went into the school but didn’t do so because he feared hitting children in the background.
“The acting sheriff said that shooting the moving gunman would have been challenging, and that if he had missed and wounded a bystander in the distance, especially a youngster, he would have faced harsh criticism and probably even a criminal investigation.”
At 11:35 a.m., the police chief of Uvalde CISD, Pete Arredondo, arrived on the scene without having his radio. At least two responding policemen were entering the hallway outside the classroom door where the attacker was discovered when Arredondo used a cell phone to contact the police department for a radio, rifle, and heavy backup.
“The police response changed from one in which every policeman would try to confront and kill the gunman as quickly as possible to one where the officers treated the gunman as a barricaded gunman and no longer killing,” according to The New York Times. “Instead of storming the classroom where he was, a decision had been made to deploy a negotiator and gather a more heavily protected and armed tactical entry force.”
According to the New York Times, a former FBI agent who was on the agency’s hostage rescue team for 17 years said that officials “made a bad decision” by defining it as a hostage-barricade scenario because “the longer you wait to find and eliminate this danger, the longer he has to murder additional people.”