A Texas Department of Public Safety official said responding officers were cautious as they entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas because “they could’ve been shot.”
Nineteen children and two teachers were murdered after authorities say an 18-year-old male entered with a rifle 12 minutes after he crashed a car near campus.
Reporters demanded answers during a contentious press conference Thursday afternoon. State law enforcement officials addressed the public a day after some parents with children in the school said they were prevented from going in by officers.
One girl inside the room reportedly bled for an hour after she was shot. She died at a hospital. It is unknown if that hour might have saved her life.
On Thursday’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, the host discussed the Tuesday’s horrifying events with DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez.
Blitzer asked his guest if officers at the scene made the correct choice to wait for backup before they went after the gunman.
Olivarez said officers were inside the school quickly, and they heard gunfire when they arrived. They called for reinforcements, he said. The officers in the building waited for a special tactical team to show up as they isolated the shooter to one classroom.
“Don’t current best practices, don’t they call for officers to disable a shooter as quickly as possible, regardless of how many officers are actually on site?” Blitzer asked him.
Olivarez said the officers who arrived at the school quickly might have been shot had they attempted to take out the gunman alone. He said,
The active shooter situation, you want to stop the killing, you want to preserve life, but also one thing that – of course, the American people need to understand — that officers are making entry into this building. They do not know where the gunman is. They are hearing gunshots.
They are receiving gunshots. At that point, if they proceeded any further not knowing where the suspect was at, they could’ve been shot, they could’ve been killed, and that gunman would have had an opportunity to kill other people inside that school.