Parent of Uvalde shooting victim says police ‘took too long to get in there’
Alfred Garza, the parent of a 10-year-old girl who was killed in the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting, chastised the police for taking too long to confront 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos.
“It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it just took too long to get in there and, you know, had they gotten there sooner, and someone would have taken immediate action, we might have more of those children here today,” Garza told CNN. “Including my daughter.”
His comments came after Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw confirmed Friday police waited almost an hour to engage the shooter while he was inside the school.
McCraw said 19 officers were waiting in the hallway of the school, but the incident commanding officer thought the shooter barricaded himself and there was no longer a threat to the children.
“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.
Video also showed police holding back parents who wanted to rush into the school to rescue their children.
Jennifer Gaitan, whose daughter was in the school, told CNN she got into a confrontation with one of the officers.
“We were asking and begging [authorities] to do something,” Gaitan said. “I feel like they were not concerned about the real trauma that was happening inside.”
“They waited too long because I was out here. And I’m not the only parent that witnessed it.”
Two federal agents told NBC News federal officers were told to wait and not immediately confront the shooter. The agents waited for around 30 minutes before ignoring local police and entering the building to take out the shooter.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott (Texas) has said every official on the scene will be investigated so a thorough timeline can be made available to the parents and public.
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