Texas officials struggled to keep up with questions from reporters during a contentious press conference regarding the shooting this week at Robb Elementary School.
Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Steven McCraw tried to explain why law enforcement waited outside the Uvalde school for an hour while Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old gunman, carried out his attack inside.
A reporter asked McCraw why the 15 officers who arrived at the scene did not enter the school until 12:50 P.M.
“The decision was made on the scene,” McCraw said. “I wasn’t there, but at the same point in time, you know, the decision was made that this was a barricaded subject situation.”
The spokesman added, “The incident commander at the time was the belief, the you know, that that, in fact, was a barricaded subject, that we had time there was no kids at risk.”
McCraw told reporters that law enforcement believed that there was time to wait for tactical gear to arrive before entering the school because the shooter had barricaded himself in a classroom.
“Hey, for the benefit of hindsight where I am sitting now, of course it was not the right decision it was the wrong decision period,” he added.
“Are you saying those children were no longer at risk?” the reporter asked during the exchange. “Are you saying those children were no longer at risk when he barricaded himself?”
Video captured outside of the school on the day of the May 24 attack shows parents begging law enforcement to enter the building, per Fox News.
Police handcuffed parents who showed up in hopes of reaching their children. Another father was tackled to the ground while a third person was pepper-sprayed outside the elementary school.
According to reports, Ramos crashed his car two blocks from the school, entered the building at approximately 11:30 A.M., and ultimately barricaded himself inside a fourth-grade classroom for 30 to 60 minutes. He fatally shot 19 students and two teachers during this time.
The youngest victim was 8-years-old.
Officers arrived at the elementary school around 11:35 A.M., according to a timeline constructed by Business Insider.
An hour after the teenage gunman entered the classroom, a staff member unlocked the door with a key and police entered.
Ramos was ultimately killed during an exchange with law enforcement.
Victor Escalon, a regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety, confirmed rumors that Ramos was not confronted by a school district police officer.
“It was reported that a school district police officer confronted the suspect,” Escalon said during the May 27 press briefing. “That’s not accurate… [The gunman] walked in unobstructed initially.”
Ramos is believed to have entered the school through a door left open by a teacher. Prior to the attack, Ramos claimed on social media to have shot his grandmother.
Tensions remained high throughout the presser.
Another reporter asked McCraw if “the parents of the children who died” who were “hearing you say not everything that could possibly have been done as humanly fast as could be done was not done” deserved an apology.
“If I thought it would help I would apologize,” McCraw replied. “You go back in the timeline, there was a barrage of hundreds of rounds were pumped in and four minutes into those two classrooms. Any firing afterwards was sporadic and it was at the door.”
“The belief is that there may not be anybody living anymore and that the subject is now trying to keep law enforcement at bay or entice them to come in and suicide by cop,” he said.
McCraw also confirmed that at least two female students called 911 during the shooting from inside the classrooms that Ramos took over. He said that between 12:43 and 12:47, one of the callers “asked 911 to please send the police now.”
The police did not enter the classroom for another 3 minutes.