UVALDE, TX – In the wake of the massacre that took place at Robb Elementary School that saw 19 children and two school staffer members killed, many questions are looming about the response by law enforcement and whether more could’ve been done.
On May 26th, Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Victor Escalon was asked by a reporter what law enforcement was doing during the one hour they were on-scene at the elementary school in Uvalde before closing in on the shooter.
“What were the officers doing between 11:44 and 12:44…you’ve guys have said that [the shooter] was barricaded. Can you explain to us how he was barricaded and why did you guys not breach that door?”
Escalon failed to deliver a rather straight forward answer to the journalist, saying, “So, I have taken all your questions into consideration. We will be doing updates…we will…answer those questions. What is your name? Shimon? I hear you.”
Considering the relatively abysmal response from the law enforcement official about something so relevant to the investigation, the journalist, later identified as CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz, persisted, remarking how initial reports rendered “bad information” and explaining what officers were doing for that very critical hour could “clear all of this up.”
“We’ve been given a lot of bad information, so why don’t we clear all of this up and explain to us how it is that your officers were in there for an hour…but yet no one was able to get inside that building?”
Borrowing former White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s mantra, Escalon invoked “circle back,” saying that he would be taking all of these unanswered questions back to his team to furnish answers at a later date.
“We will circle back with you; we want to answer all your questions. We want to give you the ‘why.’ That’s our job, so give us time. I’m taking all your questions; I’m taking them back to talk to the team. And, uh, look…thank you for being here, we’ll talk soon.”
Media reports about the alleged inaction from authorities who initially responded to the elementary school as the shooting was ongoing have not produced the most favorable of lights for the responding agencies involved.
Javier Cazares, who lost his fourth-grade daughter Jacklyn in the massacre, said he had rushed to the school when he heard about the shooting, arriving on scene while law enforcement was still staging outside of the school. Cazares stated he and other onlookers were wanting to “rush in” to the school because police weren’t doing anything initially.
Reports note that it was a Border Patrol agent assigned to the Del Rio Sector who ultimately entered the school and took down the shooter. The identity of that agent has not been revealed by officials. While engaging the shooter, the Border Patrol agent suffered a graze wound to the top of his head.