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Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, on Sunday called for accountability for the police department that responded to last week’s mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, saying it’s clear that “protocols were not followed” after the revelation that officers waited outside the classroom containing the gunman and children for more than an hour until Border Patrol agents breached the door and killed him.
During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Crenshaw said “it’s hard not to see how someone doesn’t get fired” for the slow response to Robb Elementary School on Tuesday, when 19 children and two teachers were fatally shot by 18-year-old Salvador Rolando Ramos.
“I know better than most not to necessarily judge the person who’s walking through the breach and is in that moment in the arena, but it does seem clear that protocols were not followed,” he said.
Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Friday that the chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District made the call to not let officers into the classroom because he believed Ramos had barricaded himself and was no longer a threat to children. While police officers followed Ramos into the building within two minutes of the attack, another 47 minutes passed before the Border Patrol tactical team breached the door, McCraw said.
“Of course it was not the right decision,” McCraw said. “It was the wrong decision.”
McCraw said teachers and children repeatedly called 911 asking for help as Ramos carried out the attack. He did not call out the chief of police, Peter Arredondo, by name.
Crenshaw agreed that some “very, very bad calls” were made.
“This isn’t a training problem,” Crenshaw said Sunday. “We have very clear training doctrine on this. The situation changes for a barricaded shooter if there are innocents inside. You have to put away your sense of self-preservation and go through that door. I mean, the training clearly states that you might get shot, but the guy behind you might be able to get in and save innocent people. You have to put them before you. It doesn’t appear that that happened here.
“So what does accountability look like?” he continued. “Well, let’s let the investigation play out, but it’s hard not to see how someone doesn’t get fired for this, for these very, very bad calls. And the fact that it took Border Patrol an hour later to come in and actually do the job for the police, I think, is pretty embarrassing for a lot of local police officers. So we’re going to see how this plays out, but there should definitely be accountability.”