During his press conference Friday, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw “explained” (at least for now) why police just stood around during last Tuesday’s mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas. According to McCraw, the delayed response was the result of a terrible mistake in judgment: The incident commander near the school incorrectly believed that, with the shooter locked inside two adjoining classrooms, the scene was no longer an “active shooter” event, but was instead a “barricaded subject” incident, so despite there being 19 police officers inside the school, they were directed to evacuate teachers and kids, leaving the shooter to be confronted later — much, much later — by a special Border Patrol tactical team that entered the classroom and shot the killer.
Seventy-seven minutes went by between the time the shooter entered Robb Elementary and the the time he was killed by the Border Patrol agents. During that time, McCray said, 911 dispatchers received multiple calls from inside the classrooms, from kids who told the dispatchers that there were several children still alive; the callers repeatedly asked the dispatchers to send police right now, please.
At Friday’s presser, McCraw said it wasn’t clear whether cops at the scene received word of the 911 calls. When asked if the incident commander knew kids inside the classroom were asking for police to help, McCraw said only that “That question will be answered,” and that “I’m not going to share the information we have right now. Because I don’t have — I don’t have the detailed interview right now.”
At least part of that narrative seems no longer operative today. ABC News reports that it has new video from outside the school, in which a 911 dispatcher can be heard relaying information about a call received from a child inside the classroom. Here’s the story that aired on “Good Morning America” today; we’ve cued it up to the relevant part.
In addition to showing scenes of police rescuing kids from a window in the school, the video captures a dispatcher saying, “Advise we do have a child on the line.” The dispatcher says the child is calling from Room 12, and asks, “Are we able to — is anybody inside of the building at this…?”
The dispatcher also says “Child is advising he is in the room, full of victims. Full of victims at this moment.” Shortly after, the dispatcher can be heard mentioning “Eight to nine children.”
The dispatcher’s calls match up directly with McCraw’s descriptions of the 911 logs from the shooting, with minor differences like the room number and the gender of the child. Here’s that timeline, as McCraw described it Friday; we’ve bolded the parts that match to the recording ABC obtained:
A caller identified — I will not say her name, but she was in room 112 — called 911 at 12:03. The duration of the call, was 1 minute and 23 seconds. She identified herself and whispered she’s in room 112.
At 12:10, she called back, in room 112, advised there are multiple dead.
At 12:13, again, she called on the phone.
Again at 12:16, she’s called back and said there was eight to nine students alive.
At 12:19, a 911 call was made, and another person in room 111 called. I will not say her name. She hung up when another student told her to hang up.
At 12:21, you could hear over the 911 call that three shots were fired.
At 12:36, a 911 call, it lasted for 21 seconds. The initial caller called back. The student — child called back, and was told to stay on the line and be very quiet. She told 911 that he shot the door.
At approximately 12:43 and 12:47, she asked 911 to please send the police now.
At 12:46, she said she not could not—— that she could hear the police next door.
At 12:50, shots are fired, they can be heard over the 911 call.
At 12:51, it’s very loud, and sounds like officers are moving children out of the room. At that time, the first child that called was outside before the call cuts off.
Again, the Border Patrol didn’t enter the room until about 12:50, although as we also know, the tactical team had arrived on the scene between noon and 12:15 — and were initially ordered to wait. They ultimately ignored that order and, with a custodian’s key, went after the shooter of their own volition.
So yeah, they were on hand right around the time the child said there were kids still alive in the classroom.
We’ll add that ABC News does point out that, from the video alone, “It is not clear who on scene, if anyone, heard the calls coming in from the dispatchers.” But the dispatchers certainly weren’t on the radio chatting it up with the Morning Drivetime Zoo Crew. ABC News also doesn’t say anything about the source of the video or how it came to them, so we don’t know if it’s from a law enforcement leaker or a civilian with a police scanner, or what.
The US Department of Justice announced Sunday it will conduct a “Critical Incident Review” of the shooting and the police response, saying the review’s goal is to
provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events. […]
As with prior Justice Department after-action reviews of mass shootings and other critical incidents, this assessment will be fair, transparent, and independent. The Justice Department will publish a report with its findings at the conclusion of its review.
At the rate information continues to come out about what happened, we won’t be at all surprised if the next few days reveal any number of new horrors about the botched police response.
And again, where the FUCK was the Uvalde Police Department’s SWAT Team?
Yr Wonkette is funded entirely by reader donations. If you can, please give $5 or $10 a month so we can all stare in disbelief together at this bullshit.