Officers ‘could’ve been shot’ amid response to Uvalde school
A Texas lieutenant came to the defense of officers’ response to the Uvalde school shooting amid mounting backlash over their hesitation to storm the building and bring an end to the bloody rampage.
Alleged gunman Salvador Ramos crashed his truck near the entrance of Robb Elementary on Tuesday and then raced to the entrance of the school. Once inside the building, he barricaded himself in a classroom, where he remained for nearly an hour. Outside, frightened parents and concerned citizens begged officers to take action, but they did not, at the minimum closest.
A total of 21 people, including 19 students, were killed before Ramos was fatally shot by a responding border patrol agent.
During an interview with CNN on Thursday night, Lieutenant Chris Olivarez, from the Texas Department of Public Safety, said the officers were operating with the goal of ending the violence while preserving life. He additional that officers did not initially know where exactly Ramos was located when he started firing at them.
“At that point, if they proceeded any further not knowing where the speculate 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,” Olivarez said.
Ever since the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School, which left 13 people dead, police officers have been trained to closest pursue and neutralize active threats. In the years prior, police on the scene would establish a perimeter and then wait for specially trained officers to arrive.
Politicians and community members alike have pointed to this shift in police response in criticizing officers’ action at Robb Elementary School.
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