Texas DPS director calls police response to Uvalde’s massacre a “terrible failure.”


Steve McLaugh, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, blamed law enforcement for the shootings at Yuvarde’s school and said there was convincing evidence of a “terrible failure” on Tuesday. In a bitter statement at a hearing of the State Senate Committee, McLaugh said the commander at the scene “decided to prioritize the lives of officers over the lives of children.”

Video transcript

There is compelling evidence that law enforcement response to the STEVE MCGRAW: Robb Elementary attack was a terrible failure, the exact opposite of what has been learned in the last two decades since the Colombine massacre. Three minutes after the subject entered the west building, enough armed police officers wore bulletproof vests to isolate, distract, and incapacitate the subject. The only thing that prevented the full-time officer’s corridor from entering rooms 111 and 112 was the field commander who decided to prioritize the officer’s life over the children’s.

The officers had weapons. The kids didn’t have anything. The officer had a bulletproof vest. The kids didn’t have anything. Officers have been trained. The subject had nothing. 1 hour 14 minutes 8 seconds, which was the time the children were waiting, and the teacher was waiting to be rescued in Room 111. And while they were waiting, the on-site commander was waiting for the radio and rifle.

Then he waited for the shield. Then he waited for SWAT. Finally, he waited for a key that was never needed. The post-Columbin doctrine is clear, compelling, and clear. Stop killing. Stop dying. You cannot do the former unless you do the former. You cannot do the latter unless you do the former.