‘How an 18-year-old can access militarized weaponry anywhere is beyond me’
A Democratic Texas state Senator has said “we’re all angry” over the police response to the Robb Elementary School shooting in which 19 children and two teachers were killed.
He spoke with Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, on Saturday. Mr Gutierrez said Mr McCraw told him that there would be a “detailed report including ballistics by next week”, CNN reported.
“We’re all angry. Law enforcement’s angry. I had a long conversation this morning on the way in with Steve McCraw, and he was crying to me and I’m crying to him,” Mr Gutierrez told CNN.
“And everybody is frustrated about the failures of what happened. He’s assured me I’ll have a detailed report including ballistics by next week. I want to know when each agency was here. Moving forward, he assured me never again will DPS stand down for any law enforcement agency. I hope that that’s true,” he added.
Mr McCraw said on Friday that the school district’s chief of police decided that “there was time to retrieve the keys, and wait for a tactical team with the equipment to go ahead and breach the door and take on the subject”.
It was “the wrong decision”, Mr McCraw said.
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott said he was misled by law enforcement on Tuesday, the day of the shooting, adding that he was “livid”.
Mr Gutierrez said he has asked the governor for $2m for Uvalde nonprofit health clinic Community Health Development, Inc.
There’s one psychiatrist in Uvalde, he noted. “We need to have therapists here in place,” he said, adding that he would be looking for funds in the private sector if they’re not provided by the state.
On Friday, Mr Abbott said there would be free mental health services made available in Uvalde.
Mr Gutierrez then spoke of the community struck by the shooting.
“Latinos, there’s something very humbling about us. I’m the son of immigrants, you know, and you strive to be in this country, and you come up and … we work hard,” he said.
“And this community is an incredibly hardworking community, multi-generational Americans here, four, five generations [of] Hispanic Americans. And they’re just such wonderful people,” he added.
He urged the media and the public to “stay engaged”.
“No community anywhere in the United States should have to deal with this. How an 18-year-old can access militarized weaponry anywhere is beyond me. And so please stay engaged. Please stay engaged,” he told CNN.