Fed unit was asked by police to wait before entering Robb Elementary: report
A Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) unit at the scene of the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting was told not to enter the school and instead wait, according to a report from NBC News.
Two federal officials who spoke to the outlet said that agents who were part of BORTAC, CBP’s tactical unit, arrived on the scene at Robb Elementary School around 12:15 p.m., approximately 45 minutes after the suspected shooter began his rampage.
ICE Homeland Security Investigations division was also on the scene, according NBC.
Once there, local police asked them to wait and assist pulling students out of windows. However, after 30 minutes passed, the federal agents decided to move in on the shooter and take him out.
The news comes after Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steven McCraw said earlier Friday during a press conference that law enforcement should have engaged the shooter earlier. McCraw explained that over the course of the incident, 19 police officers were at the scene in the school’s hallway outside of the locked adjoining rooms where the shooter was hiding.
The commanding officer on the scene did not allow the law enforcement to enter the rooms because he believed the shooter was barricaded and the children were not in danger.
Emergency calls from students inside the room revealed later that children were begging for help. McCraw said there are different rules approaching a barricaded shooter than an active shooter, with police obligated to charge an active shooter without equipment.
“From the benefit of hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision. It was a wrong decision. Period. There was no excuse for that,” McCraw said.
The Washington Post reported Friday citing a CBP official with knowledge of the situation that once federal agents made it into the locked rooms, the gunman emerged from a closet firing his weapon. The agents returned fire and killed him.
“They have not told me they were frustrated,” the official said. “But they told me it was hard to discern who was in charge.”
“It wasn’t a huge team,” he continued. “It was one agent from here, two from there, and they just converged there.”
Police response to the shooting has garnered scrutiny after initial statements from law enforcement showed inconsistencies.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Friday he was “livid” about being given inaccurate information about the police response to the shooting.
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