Texas shooting: Cops waited outside classroom as students begged for help
Texas school shooting: Police have come under intense criticism over why it took well over an hour to storm the classroom and neutralize the gunman.
A top Texas security official on Friday revealed that students trapped inside a classroom of the elementary school repeatedly called 911 as officers waited more than an hour to breach the door after following the gunman into the building, news agencies reported. Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a news conference that the commander at the scene in Uvalde believed the gunman, Salvador Ramos, was barricaded inside adjoining classrooms alone, with no survivors.
“From the benefit of hindsight... it was the wrong decision, period,” a visibly emotional McCraw said.
As the officer was assailed by questions over the delay, he said, "From what we know, we believe there should have been an entry as soon as you can."
"If I thought it would help, I'd apologize."
Texas school shooter’s warning signs get lost in sea of posts on social media
Among the series of emergency calls made from inside the classrooms, one was from a child who begged for help amid delay from police. “Please send the police now,” the child pleaded, according to authorities.
The revelation came after three days of conflicting and incomplete information provided by authorities over the delay in police action as more than an hour elapsed between the time Ramos entered the school and when US Border Patrol agents unlocked the classroom door and killed him. But not before the 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.
"I'm not defending anything, but you go back in the timeline, there was a barrage, hundreds of rounds were pumped in in four minutes, okay, into those two classrooms," McCraw said.
"Any firing afterwards was sporadic and it was at the door. So the belief is that there may not be anybody living anymore."
Meanwhile, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott told reporters during a testy news conference that he was given inaccurate information.
"I was misled," Abbott said. "The information that I was given turned out in part to be inaccurate, and I'm absolutely livid about that."
(With inputs from AP, AFP)