Public Safety Director Steven McCraw admitted Friday that police made the wrong decision in delaying their entry into Rodd Elementary School on May 24.
“With a bit of a hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision it was the wrong decision, period,” McCraw said. “There is no excuse for that.” McCraw went on to deflect his personal involvement. “But again, I wasn’t there,” he said. “I’m just telling you from what we know, we believe there should have been an entry as soon as you can.”
McCraw also revealed that several students phoned 9-1-1 from within the classroom, desperately pleading for help.
McCraw’s public admission of police error comes in response to widespread outrage from the community that police didn’t overtake the school shooter quickly enough, according to CBS News. McCraw insisted police initially believed the shooter was barricaded, but the situation quickly escalated. (RELATED: Incredible Photo Reportedly Shows Head Wound Suffered By Heroic Border Patrol Agent Who Killed Texas School Shooter)
McCraw went on to detail the numerous calls made by students from inside the classroom. He described a series of those calls. “At 12:03 the duration of the call was one minute 23 seconds. She identified herself and whispered she’s in room 112,” McCraw said. “At 12:10 she called back and advised there were multiple dead,” he said.
“12:13 again she called on the phone. Again at 12:16 she called back and said there were 8 to 9 students alive,” McCraw said.
McCraw detailed another call, saying a “student child called back and was told to stay on the phone and be very quiet.” He emotionally described that “at 12:47 she asked 911 to please send the police now.”
Eighteen-year-old Salvador Ramos is suspected of fatally shooting 19 students and 2 teachers before being shot and killed by police, according to ABC News.