The gunman was inside a classroom for 90 minutes before law enforcement killed him
The Uvalde Police Department has revealed the frenzied 911 calls that were made the day of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, as the callers waited for 90 minutes for law enforcement to stop the shooter.
Steven McCraw, the Director and Colonel of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told reporters during a press conference that one of the 911 calls was made by a child inside the school.
The child called 911 and told the dispatcher “please send the police now.”
One officer who initially responded to the 911 calls drove past the shooter, who was hiding behind a car, and mistook a teacher outside the building for a suspect.
Some of the 911 callers, including the child caller, died during the attack.
One call came in at 12.16pm — 45 minutes before the gunman was killed — during which the caller told a 911 dispatcher that there were eight or nine children still alive inside the classroom.
Another call came in at 12.36pm, during which a student asked for the dispatcher to send the police “now.”
Reporters at the briefing pressed Mr McCraw as to why the police took so long to try to breach the classroom and stop the gunman.
Mr McCraw said several officers did enter the school and lined up in the hallway, but the shooter fired through the door and grazed two police officers. He said that after the shooter barricaded himself in the room, police officers changed their tactics from an active shooter response — which advocates engaging and neutralising the shooter as quickly as possible — to a barricaded suspect response or hostage situation response, which typically see police falling back.
He admitted that response was a mistake.
“From the benefit of hind sight where I’m sitting now, of course it was not the right decision,” he said. “It was the wrong decision. Period.”
After 90 minutes, members of the Border Patrol BORTAC unit arrived with ballistic shields and managed to kill the gunman.
Responding law enforcement has faced widespread criticism in the press and from the public for not only failing to engage with the shooter for nearly 90 minutes, but also for holding back and in some cases restraining terrified parents who begged them to do something to stop the gunman.
When asked about those incidents, Mr McCraw said he had no information but that they would be examined by the authorities.