21 people, including 19 children aged nine to eleven, were murdered by a mentally unstable 18-year-old at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24. The brutality of the incident, and conflicting and contradictory reports on the fumbled the police response, sparked outrage in the Lone Star State and across the country.
Uvalde officials’ use of a legal loophole to avoid releasing police records, including footage from officers’ body cams, 911 calls from students, emails, criminal records and other information has sparked concerns from Texans and others that authorities are engaged in a cover-up.
On Monday, the Austin American-Statesman and Austin KVUE-TV revealed, citing documents and security footage, that officers with high-powered weapons and at least one ballistic shield reached Robb Elementary within 19 minutes of the gunman’s arrival on the scene – challenging earlier accounts by police officials about their response time and the resources they had at their disposal.
On Tuesday, Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said in Senate testimony that the police had enough body armor-equipped officers to “isolate, distract and neutralize” the gunman just three minutes after he entered the school, but instead waited in the hallway for nearly an hour as he carried out his attack.