A reporter questioned Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw at a Friday press conference about the number of children who could have been saved in the Robb Elementary School shooting if the classroom door had been breached.
The gunman, identified by authorities as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, barricaded himself inside a fourth-grade classroom inside Robb Elementary School on Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas. Earlier reports said the shooter barricaded the room between 30-60 minutes before engaging with authorities. Officers first arrived at the school at 11:44 a.m. but did not enter the room until approximately 12:50 p.m., according to CNN.
“How many kids could have been saved had they been breached out?” a reporter asked.
“I don’t know,” McCraw replied.
McCraw said earlier in the conference that authorities waited for more equipment and officers in order to do a “tactical breach,” then finally entered the room at 12:57. The DPS director said it was the “wrong decision” not to immediately breach the door and there was “no excuse.”
“Of course it was not the right decision, it was the wrong decision, period,” he 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.” (RELATED: Police Official Says Uvalde Shooter Did Not Confront Armed Guard, Appears To Have Entered Unlocked Door)
As officers waited outside the room, children inside repeatedly called 911, The New York Times reported. The first call was reportedly made at 12:03, almost an hour before officers entered. One student reportedly told the emergency line there were eight or nine students still alive.