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Watch live: Uvalde shooting Texas senate committee hearings underway

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AUSTIN, Texas – The head of the Texas state police pronounced the law enforcement response to the Uvalde school shooting an “abject failure,” telling lawmakers that there were enough officers and firepower on the scene to have stopped the gunman three minutes after he entered the building.

Col. Steve McCraw also said officers would have found the door to the classroom where the assailant was holed up unlocked if they had bothered to check it.

Instead, police with rifles stood in a hallway for over an hour, waiting in part for more weapons and gear, before they finally stormed the classroom and killed the gunman, putting an end to the May 24 attack that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

“I don’t care if you have on flip-flops and Bermuda shorts, you go in,” McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday in blistering testimony at a state Senate hearing.

The classroom door, it turned out, could not be locked from the inside by design, according to McCraw, who also said a teacher reported before the shooting that the lock was broken. Yet there is no indication officers tried to open it during the standoff, McCraw said. He said police instead waited for keys.

“I have great reasons to believe it was never secured,” McCraw said of the door. ”How about trying the door and seeing if it’s locked?”

Delays in the law enforcement response at Robb Elementary School have become the focus of federal, state and local investigations. Testimony was scheduled to resume Wednesday.

McCraw lit into Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde school district police chief who McCraw said was in charge, saying: “The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering Room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”

McCraw lit into Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde school district police chief who McCraw said was in charge, saying: “The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering Room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”

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Sourabh Verma franklin
Sourabh Verma,From Franklin Tn - Sub-editor in Asian News International(ANI) I am a detailed-driven journalist with 3+ years of experience in news writing and copy-editing, I can file quick, compelling and error-free stories as they break. I have sound knowledge of national and international issues and have covered stories across beats, including politics, parliament, legal and crime like drugs and Human Trafficking at Asian News International (ANI), where I currently work. Some of these include extensive coverage of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, several state Assembly elections, Parliament sessions, COVID-19 pandemic and other stories of national importance. A typical working day involves copy-editing dozens of drafts, managing junior sub-editors in shifts and keeping an eye on developing stories. This added responsibility followed a couple of years of filing stories based on press briefings, bytes and inputs from reporters on the ground.
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