The chief of police in Uvalde, Texas, issued a news release Thursday thanking his “officers for not sustaining life-threatening injuries” during this week’s massacre of 19 students and two adults at an elementary school.
boss Daniel Rodriguez The statement noted that several responding officers were shot in the massacre but survived. It also commended officers for responding to the attack “within minutes.”
The full extent of the local police department’s involvement in the response to the shooting and the role Rodriguez may have played in managing that response remain largely unclear. However, with hindsight, the timing of the Uvalde police chief’s statement is remarkable. It was dated May 26, 2022 and timestamped on Facebook at 12:53 p.m. Texas time. It appears to have come minutes before a scheduled 1pm press conference Victor Escalon, a regional director for the South Texas Department of Public Safety, struggled to explain why it took police about an hour to kill the shooter. It came a day before a lengthy press conference by the spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety Steven McCraw via a collective law enforcement response that, by many reports, could have been more urgent at its most critical stages.
McCraw said Friday that although the classroom had not been breached by law enforcement, the incident commander assumed the students at the school were “no longer at risk.” It turned out that the students actually died in the classroom. At least one called 911 and asked to be rescued. That caller did not survive, NBC News reported this week.
McCraw admitted the decision not to make a quick rescue was “the wrong decision” based on a call from a “commander on site.” Whoever that commander was apparently believed the situation was a “barricaded subject situation,” not an active gunner, and that “children were no longer in danger,” McCraw said. Rather, McCraw said, the “thought process at that particular point in time” was that “it was time to get the keys and wait for a tactical team to go ahead with the gear, break down the door, and take care of the issue.”
“Hey, in hindsight, where I’m sitting now that — of course — it wasn’t the right decision, it was the wrong decision,” McCraw continued. “Very – there’s no excuse for that.”
Protect Salvador Ramos shot his grandmother, fled and crashed his truck at 11:28 am Associated Press wrote after compiling the latest law enforcement timeline. Ramos arrived at Robb Elementary School at 11:33 a.m. and was not dead until around 12:58 p.m AP estimates. Federal agents reportedly entered the room where the gunman was hiding after local authorities failed to do so. Although some reports say some local forces tried to tell FBI agents to back off, an unnamed source said so New York Post the police chief of the Uvalde school Peter Arredondo did not issue any such order. (In Texas, school districts are permitted to have their own police forces separate from the city, county, and state forces.) The Post A source said it was unclear if the 911 calls made by the children would be relayed to officers at the scene and it was unclear if Arredondo had a radio at the scene. The source also said there was “a lot of confusion” about who exactly was doing what at the crime scene and that the details have yet to be worked out.
Regardless, the timeline offered by law enforcement — including the one-hour delay — has not yet been disputed. Conservative FOX opinion leader Tucker Carlson called the police response to the incident “BS” Texas Gov. Gregory Abbotta Republican who initially praised police for allegedly rushing into danger later said he was “angry” at being “misled” about what he thinks really happened.
Chief Rodriguez’s press release is one of several comments that have been roundly speared by the rowdy chorus of commentators and critics. On Thursday, Escalon lamented in front of a series of television cameras that as a “dad” he couldn’t “go home tonight and hug my kids” because of his work on the case. Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Chris Olivarez CNN bluntly told Thursday that officers didn’t breach the room because “they could have been shot” — a true but harrowing assessment that recognizes the longstanding legal norm that police generally have no obligation to rescue private individuals.
Here is Chief Rodriguez’s full statement:
My department and I will never be able to put into words our deepest sympathy and condolences to the individual families and the entire community of Uvalde. We want to express our sincere gratitude for the tremendous support from all law enforcement agencies, our community members, and the nation. I would like to thank everyone in my department for their dedicated and tireless efforts to continue to serve our community during this difficult time. Our staff have shown the utmost commitment to our community during this difficult time when we are all suffering as members of the community, ie Uvalde’s family.
It is important for our community to know that our officers responded within minutes alongside Uvalde CISD officers. Responding UPD officers sustained gunshot wounds from the suspect. Our entire department is grateful that the officers did not sustain any life-threatening injuries. This is an ongoing investigation led by the Texas Rangers. I understand questions about the specifics of what happened. I know answers will not come fast enough at this difficult time, but rest assured that once the full investigation is complete, I will be able to answer any questions that we can. I know that words can never ease the pain we all go through, but I hope you will join me and find some comfort in knowing that the pain comes from the fact that we all have such deep love for have all the sacrifices that have been taken from us, those who are recovering and those who only time and love will continue to heal. As the close-knit community that we are, I know we will come together and help each other heal as a family that is #UvaldeStrong.
Chief of Police
School officials — including a spokesman who preceded Arredondo’s comments at at least two press conferences — have repeatedly told reporters not to ask questions of the assembled county authorities because no one would answer them. Everything that has come so far has been brief explanations.
When asked why Rodriguez wasn’t at a news conference on Friday, McCraw, the state spokesman, responded only by saying that reporters “are certainly welcome to contact local police separately.” That New York Timeswhile reporting the anger many local parents felt at the police response, said neither Arredondo nor Rodriguez responded to requests to speak.
Rodriguez’s press release, originally posted to Facebook, is embedded below.
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https://lawandcrime.com/school-shooting/after-19-kids-died-in-massacre-uvalde-police-chief-wrote-press-release-saying-his-officers-responded-within-minutes-and-thankfully-did-not-sustain-any-life-threatening-injuries/ Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez said this about the massacre