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July 3, 2022 7:06 pm

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WASHINGTON (TND) — New details have been released on the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas that sparked bipartisan legislation on gun safety.

The mayor of Uvalde says Robb Elementary School will be demolished after last month’s deadly attack.

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New details have been released on the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas that sparked that bipartisan gun bill. School safety expert Kenneth Trump joined The National Desk Tuesday to discuss. (TND){ }

The announcement came just hours after chilling revelations came from Texas Public Safety Chief Steve McCraw.

During a Senate meeting, McCraw told lawmakers that the responding police officers could have stopped the gunman within minutes. Instead, it took more than an hour to confront the killer.

One of the most shocking details from McCraw’s testimony is that officers waited to get a master key to the classroom but no one — not any of the officers or even the breach team — tried opening the door. Turns out, it was unlocked the entire time.

“The classroom door is certainly another concern particularly as it comes to protocols for breaching those doors,” school safety expert Kenneth Trump said. “If the door was not locked to the classroom, why did somebody not simply try to open that door before they waited minutes and minutes that obviously cost lives?”

In the testimony, the head of Texas State Police also called the emergency response an “abject failure” that set law enforcement back a decade.

“I’d go further and say it’s actually a couple of decades. Best practices were established after the Columbine tragedy in 1999. At that time it was set up a perimeter, wait for the SWAT team to come in thereafter,” Trump said.

Officials say the police, armed with rifles, stood outside the two classrooms where 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos had barricaded himself for more than an hour. As police waited in the school’s hallway, Ramos killed the 19 children and two teachers.

Trump says it’s clear that more could have been done in those critical moments.

“Officers are trained that you walk over the injured, the deceased because there is one goal and one goal only: to stop that shooter,” Trump said. “There are so many questions, so many indicators that that was not the practice here. Perhaps it was just the opposite. It’s very concerning and a lot of people are shaking their heads.”

In newly released images from surveillance cameras inside the school, you can see armed police officers taking cover in a hallway and not heading towards the threat. Officers were said to be waiting for more firepower and more protective gear.

Many blame the Uvalde school district police chief Pete Arredondo, who McCraw said decided to put the lives of officers ahead of the lives of children.

“[Arredondo] stated publicly that he did not know that he was in charge. That’s a big issue to come under question under the microscope and there are going to be consequences. There will certainly be civil litigation on this,” Trump said. “We’d like to give our police officers the respect and understanding of discretion but this one goes beyond that point where people would say, ‘have some leeway.’”

In his Senate testimony, McCraw outlined a series of mistakes before the committee, detailing missed opportunities, communication breakdowns and other errors.

“This is heart-wrenching for everyone, including police officers around the country and I think the bigger concern in addition to thatis that there’s a cast doubt with it minds of parents across the country about the preparedness level of schools and now police,” Trump said.

He says he believes most police around the country are well prepared but the tragic incident showed the need for good training.

“I don’t think that we would see that response that we’re talking about today in most communities. We want to reassure parents that there are many schools and school police and police officers who work with schools that are prepared but it still points to the need for training, training, training and staying updated with planning, preparing,” Trump said.


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