Patterico's Pontifications


Texas Dept. of Public Safety Official: “It Was The Wrong Decision”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:39 am

[guest post by Dana]

In a follow-up to the Uvalde massacre, Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steven McCraw said this morning that the wrong decision was made by officials to wait for more equipment and not engage with the shooter:

While a gunman slaughtered children inside locked adjoining classrooms in a Texas elementary school, a group of 19 law enforcement officers stood in a hallway outside and took no action as they waited for more equipment, a state law enforcement official said Friday.

“The on-scene commander at that time believed that it had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject,” Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steven McCraw said.

“From the benefit of hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. There’s no excuse for that.”

The decision explains the lengthy wait between when officers first arrived to the school at 11:44 a.m. and when the gunman was finally shot at 12:50 p.m. The tactical team ultimately entered the locked classroom to confront the gunman using keys from a janitor, he said.

Here is a former active shooter trainer reviewing what is the standard, across-the-board protocol for law enforcement when at the scene of an active shooter, and also, what constitutes a “barricaded suspect” situation:

Ryan Searles, a security consultant with IMEG Corp and a former active shooter trainer, says the procedures are very similar across the nation.

“The primary goal of law enforcement during an active shooter is really to accomplish two things — one, stop the killing. And two, stop the dying…We learned from Columbine. You can’t sit outside and wait while kids are getting shot inside. You need to make entry right away, whether you’re a single officer or you’re waiting for your contact team,” Searles said.

But every scenario is different, and officers have to be ready to switch gears at a moment’s notice.

Though Searles is not privy to the mass shooting investigation in Uvalde, he said the training is standardized so that everybody can respond in the same way when mutual aid is called.

“An active shooter scene can change very quickly from an active shooter to barricaded suspect. As long as they make entry into a room and they’re barricaded, and no shots are fired, it’s now not treated as an active shooter event. It’s treated as a barricaded suspect,” Searles said.

hat’s when backup teams, like SWAT, are called.

“But as soon as a single shot is fired, it is a switch from a barricaded suspect immediately back to an active shooter, and you have to make entry. You can’t wait outside the classroom. You make entry right away, and you mitigate that threat,” Searles said.


34 Responses to “Texas Dept. of Public Safety Official: “It Was The Wrong Decision””

  1. Good morning.

    Dana (2c7c1d)

  2. Nightmare, Dana. Just a nightmare.

    Hopefully we can avoid folks making jokes or playing political games with this on your post.

    I really appreciate what you write, even if the subject matter is so very depressing and infuriating.

    Simon Jester (13249b)

  3. Hopefully we can avoid folks making jokes or playing political games with this on your post.

    Who did such a thing on the previous posts? Despicable of them.

    BuDuh (340919)

  4. Here is the press conference:

    BuDuh (340919)

  5. Simon Jester, I must have missed them.

    Note to commenter: Please, no jokes on my threads about the Uvalde massacre. It’s gross and unseemly, and if I see any, I’ll delete them. If you object to this, tell the boss.

    Dana (2c7c1d)

  6. I haven’t seen any either, Dana. Hopefully Simon can point them out. How sad.

    BuDuh (340919)

  7. Political comments are unavoidable. I’ll start: The politicians and their constituencies who want to make the tragedy forgotten are now in charge in Texas, so nothing much will happen. Not to those cops, not to anything.

    nk (8fae8b)

  8. An off-duty US Customs and Border Protection agent fearlessly rushed into Robb Elementary School with his barber’s shotgun and rescued dozens of children and his daughter after his wife texted him that there was an active shooter.

    Jacob Albarado had just sat down for a haircut when he received the horrifying message from his wife, Trisha, a fourth-grade teacher at the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, he told the New York Times….

    … A tactical team was preparing to enter the school when Albarado arrived. Desperate to get his daughter and wife out, he made a plan with other officers to try to enter the school and evacuate as many students as possible….

    … He said he entered the wing of the school where he knew his daughter was located, and as he searched for her, began “clearing all the classes in her wing,” he told the Times.

    Two officers with guns drawn provided cover while two others guided dozens of “hysterical” children and teachers out to the sidewalk, he said.
    When Albarado finally saw his 8-year-old daughter, Jayda, they embraced, but he kept moving forward to bring more students to safety.

    “I did what I was trained to do,” Albarado told the paper.

    BuDuh (340919)

  9. I have yet to see anything about having this tragedy forgotten, NK. Has that been linked somewhere?

    BuDuh (340919)

  10. This is horrifying. But when you try to put your prevention at the last possible instant failures will be tragic. The ‘good man with a gun’ narrative is exactly that; prevention at the last instant.

    It’s infuriating that this mistake happened. But mistakes are going to happen and our current system doesn’t have much redundancy.

    We don’t limit access to weapons designed to kill large numbers of people at close range through background checks, or mental health checks, or requiring a demonstration of need, or some sort of mental health check.

    Instead we focus on making schools hard targets. This is what the US approach results in

    I think not mocking this is a good idea. But I don’t know how you keep a politics out of a deeply political issue that impacts several public policy areas.

    Time123 (fcfc1c)

  11. I took that as meaning the memory holing was imminent

    steveg (4f461c)

  12. Both parties are equally adept… the issues change

    steveg (4f461c)

  13. The on-scene command should have said follow me.

    steveg (4f461c)

  14. “From the benefit of hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. There’s no excuse for that.”

    That actually sounds like an excuse.

    Kevin M (eca4d2)

  15. Apparently the classroom teachers had just gotten the word about an active shooter after he was inside, and at the door of the affected classroom. This was somewhere between 3 and 12 minutes after the fist shots were fired. This delay cost 21 lives. Once the door was locked with the shooter inside, there was really no way to prevent carnage.

    Kevin M (eca4d2)

  16. Jokes? Who? Unfortunetly the immunity laws in texas are very protective of government and law enforcement I have read. Does anyone here no more about immunity laws in texas?

    asset (793dd9)

  17. They may protect people from lawsuits, but they don’t protect them from administrative action.

    Kevin M (eca4d2)

  18. No excuse because children trapped inside were calling 911.

    And then there’s the first encounter with the gunman.

    Believe it or not, the first policeman who responded to the very first 911 call (at 11:30 am) about the shots fired at people by the funeral home, which was before he ever entered the school, mistakenly picked out the wrong person to chase and “drove right by the suspect” – who remember, was no longer in the truck, which he had crashed, and must have been carrying the rifle in his hands.

    He instead pursued a person who turned out to be a teacher.

    How does this make sense?

    I guess he didn’t know that the shots fired came from a rifle because that part, even if known to the 911 caller, didn’t get through to him. He must have thought it had been a concealed weapon, fired at close range, in some kind of a dispute, and Salvador Ramos was a good guy with a gun!

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  19. I suppose it could turn out that the first policeman actually recognized him. The odds are maybe somewhat against it but not incredibly low.

    It’s a community where few people move in and something like 40% of the people have lived in the same house for 30 years or longer.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  20. … He said he entered the wing of the school where he knew his daughter was located, and as he searched for her, began “clearing all the classes in her wing,” he told the Times.

    He didn’t know that the killer wss trapped in one of the rooms. I think there was an adjoining 3rd grade classroom and most of those children were gotten out by other people.

    All without co-ordination.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  21. Another missed opportunity.

    The Buffalo killer, remember, made his Facebook diary public, and invited six people from his Discord chat group to look at it, about 30 minutes before going into a Tops supermarket and hunting people (actually he first shot people in the parking lot.)

    One of those people in his Discord chat group was a retired federal agent who lives in Texas. (his name has not been made public)

    One big question is whether the retired agent actually accepted the invitation. The FBI is investigating whether the retired agent or anyone else should be charged as accomplices. The gunman references a mentor-like figure called the “Sandman” or “Saint Sandman” in his racist online screeds, though the Sandman’s identity has not yet been established.

    I wonder who Adam Lanza was in communication with before Sandy Hook in 2012. He destroyed his computer. Adam Lanza is more certain to have had contact with people who could have been characterized as co-conspirators but that investigation never found them.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  22. “I was misled.” – Greg Abbott



    DCSCA (d1d997)

  23. Only took 48 hours for the police to give up trying to spin the story. I’m also not convinced that we know the whole truth yet, especially after seeing this from earlier:

    Texas law enforcement officials at a press conference say they believe that all the children that were shot and killed in Uvalde, TX were shot by Salvador Ramos and not anyone else [i.e. law enforcement].

    Davethulhu (ee3282)

  24. Despite what pro gun lobby says AR-15 assault weapons are different. They scared the police who didn’t want face it and risk their lives.

    asset (793dd9)

  25. 4. I started to listen to the video.

    The shots were not fired at the funeral home. Two males came out of the funeral home when they heard the crash. and walked in the direction of the crash. Before they got there they a man (Ramos) get out from the passenger side of the truck with a backpack and they began running away (some detail may be missing here) and he shot at them. He missed but one of them fell down, while running, but they both got back safely to the funeral home.

    They did not place the 911 call.

    Meanwhile a teacher from the school, had opened the door which Ramos later used and propped it open, evidently to retrieve a phone, and the door remained open later. It was that teacher who called 911 and reported the crash and a man with a gun.

    Ramos arrived at the school, and started shooting through windows but the police went to the funeral home.

    Meanwhile the school resource officer, who had heard the 911 call but was not present at the school went to the school and confronted a teacher and not the suspect, who was hunkered down (hiding.) But he began firing from his concealed position.

    This was at 11:31 am, three minutes after the crash. He continued firing, (into the school) and he actually entered the school at 11:33, not 11:40. (no 10 or 12 minutes in the parking lot)

    He attempted to fire at either Room 111 or 112, (unsuccessfully) although maybe 100 rounds went off and 3 policemen followed him into the building at 11:35. (not 11:44) Shortly followed by another 3 plus a county deputy sheriff (Total police in the school at that point:7)

    The three initial police officers were fired at through the door (?) and two received grazing wounds. This was all before 11:37

    There were more shots fired from time to time, and more police continued to arrive and by 12:03 there were 19 in that hall way.

    At 12:15 some members of BORTAC arrived. At 12:21 (?) suspect fired again and was believed to be at some door and they retreated down the hallway.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  26. The man speaking in the video keeps on saying 11: something instead of 12: something.

    They got the keys from the janitor. Both doors to the (connected classrooms were locked when the policemen arrived

    at 12:03 and again at 12:10 a female called (a 10 year old?) from inside Room 112 – at 12:10 she said there were multiple dead. She called repeatedly. One time reporting that (at 12:16) that there were 8 to 9 students alive. In one call later you could hear shots fired.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  27. 11:27 AM – Exterior door where shooter entered was propped open by a teacher.
    11:28 AM – Shooter’s vehicle crashes into a ditch.
    11:28 AM – Teacher runs to room 132 to retrieve her phone and door remains propped open.
    11:30 AM – Teacher calls 911 to report the crash and a man with a gun.
    11:31 AM – The suspect reaches last row of vehicles in the school parking lot.
    11:31 AM – Shooter approaches school, shooting at the classroom windows as he approaches.
    11:31 AM – Patrol vehicles arrive at funeral home.
    11:32 AM – Multiple shots fired at the school.
    11:33 AM – Shooter enters the school, begins firing into room 111 or 112; at least 100 rounds fired.
    11:35 AM – Three Uvalde PD officers enter school through same door shooter entered, quickly followed by three more Uvalde PD and one sheriff’s deputy.
    11:36 AM – Three Uvalde PD officers approach the classroom door and two are shot; they fall back.
    11:37 AM – Shooter fires 16 rounds.
    11:51 AM – Police sergeant arrived.
    12:03 PM – Additional officers arrive; “There were as many as 19 officers at that time in that hallway.”
    12:03 PM – 911 call from room 112 lasting 1 minute, 23 seconds.
    12:10 PM – 911 call from room 112, advised multiple are dead.
    12:13 PM – 911 call from room 112.
    12:16 PM – 911 call from room 111, caller reporting there are eight to nine students alive.
    12:15 PM – Members of BORTAC arrived, along with shields.
    12:19 PM – 911 call from room 111, caller hung up when another student told them to.
    12:21 PM – Shooter fired again, “It was believed to be at the door.”
    12:21 PM – 911 call from room 111.
    12:21 PM – Law enforcement moved down the hallway.
    12:26 PM – 911 call from student lasting 26 seconds.
    12:26 PM – 911 call from the same student, reports that the killer shot the door. Student was told to stay on the line and to be very quiet.
    12:46 PM – 911 caller says she can hear police next door.
    12:47 PM – Asked 911 to “please send the police now.”
    12:50 PM – Officers breached the locked classroom door using keys provided by the janitor

    BuDuh (340919)

  28. We should give credit for what they did do.

    They entered the school, stood in the hallway, resulting in limit of 30 or so potential victims because shooter did not dare to leave the classroom.

    They could have done better, but they also could have done worse.

    Sammy Finkelman (b434ee)

  29. #29

    I’m guessing no one is interested in agreeing.

    steveg (2a2ec7)

  30. I see the Uvalde Police and Uvalde ISD have decided not to cooperate with any investigation. Hmmm. I’m assuming they are not concerned with what Uvalde citizens (other than LE) think about that. There are going to be some job openings at Uvalde PD and some cops should resign now and hope to keep as much of the stink off as possible unless they want to be long haul truck drivers based out of El Paso

    steveg (2a2ec7)

  31. What I find hard to believe is that they could not get the fire department to bring a “jaws of life” (door opener) over in under three minutes, if they did not have one pf their own. I think the janitor’s keys story is what cows leave in cow pastures.

    nk (65acd8)

  32. “What I find hard to believe is that they could not get the fire department to bring a “jaws of life” (door opener) over in under three minutes, if they did not have one pf their own. I think the janitor’s keys story is what cows leave in cow pastures.”

    I second that. I heard 3 people had a key to the room (yeah I’m sure that story might change too)….none of them were within 5min of authorities at the school? Also as nk implies, getting through a steel door is not exactly rocket science. Yes, working on the door would be dangerous and if they knew kids were still in there, firing into the room was risky, but weren’t there two doors and a lot of guns looking for the suspect to poke out his head? I know it’s easy to play monday morning quarterback when we don’t know what they knew and what exactly they faced, but it’s hard to not shake one’s head….

    AJ_Liberty (a36eed)

  33. long haul truck drivers based out of El Paso

    Euphemism, accompanied by a Norteno accordion riff?

    urbanleftbehind (2b999d)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.0716 secs.