Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday that he is “livid” at police officials’ inaccurate reports surrounding the Robb Elementary School massacre.
Abbott canceled his scheduled appearance at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Annual Leadership Forum to hold the press conference in Uvalde, Texas, just days after the shooting that killed 19 children and 2 fourth-grade teachers. Abbott initially praised law enforcement’s response to the shooting, until new information came out this week contradicting initial reports.
“I was misled,” Abbott said. “I am livid about what happened. I was on this very stage two days ago and I was telling the public information that had been told to me in a room a few yards behind where we’re located right now. I wrote down hand notes in detail about what everybody in that room told me in sequential order about what happened. And when I came out here on that stage and told the public what happened, it was a recitation of what people in that room told me.”
“As everybody has learned, the information that I was given turned out, in part, to be inaccurate,” he continued. “And I’m absolutely livid about that. And here’s my expectation. My expectation is that the law enforcement leaders that are leading the investigations, which includes the Texas rangers and the FBI, they will get to the bottom of every fact with absolute certainty.”
The governor said it is “inexcusable” that the victims’ families were fed inaccurate information by officials investigating the incident. (RELATED: Abbott Bashes Gun Reform, Says Chicago Efforts Have Proven Ineffective)
“There are people who deserve answers the most, and those are the families whose lives have been destroyed,” the governor continued. “They need answers that are accurate and it is inexcusable that they may have suffered from any inaccurate information whatsoever. And it is imperative that the leaders of the investigations about exactly what happened get down to the very second of exactly what happened with 100 percent accuracy.”
Initial reports from officials and police surrounding the shooting proved to be inconsistent which raised questions from the public on the events that took place. Police officials initially said that the gunman, Salvador Ramos, encountered an armed security guard before entering the school building. Texas Department of Safety (DPS) regional director Victor Escalon told reporters Thursday that those reports are inaccurate.
DPS director Steven McCraw said Friday that 19 officers were inside the building from 11:44 a.m. to 12:57 p.m. as they awaited for more equipment to arrive in order to perform a “tactical breach” inside the room. Ramos barricaded the room for 30-60 minutes before police entered.
“Of course it was not the right decision, it was the wrong decision, period,” McCraw said. “There’s no excuse for that. But again, I wasn’t there, but I’m just telling you from what we know, that we believe there should’ve been an entry as soon as you can. When there’s an active shooter, the rules change. It’s no longer a barricaded subject, you don’t have time. You don’t worry about outer perimeters.”
Several children called 911 as police waited outside the room. The first call was made at 12:03, almost an hour before officers encountered the shooter.