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Police lost at least two chances to shoot Uvalde killer

by Anthony L. Gonzalez

Another mistake has been added to the tragic litany of errors that gave a teenage gunman the time to systematically slaughter 21 people during a Texas school siege.

Two city police officers missed a fleeting opportunity to shoot the gunman outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas before he went inside and continued firing, a senior sheriff’s deputy has told The New York Times.

That would be another missed opportunity for officers to stop Salvador Ramos from the May 24 disaster at the school that killed 19 children and two teachers.

Officials said school district police also drove past Ramos without seeing him in the building’s parking lot.

The unidentified officers, one of whom was armed with an AR-15-style rifle, said they feared hitting children playing in the line of fire outside the school, Deputy Ricardo Rios of nearby Zavalla County told the newspaper.

Police lost at least two chances to shoot Uvalde killer

A damn, wasted hour

Rios said the chance to stop Ramos passed quickly, perhaps in seconds.

Police at the scene did not intervene for more than an hour to neutralize the gunman, even as harassed parents urged officers outside the school to enter.

Reports from The Associated Press to Rios and the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office were not returned. Zavala County Sheriff’s Office officials responded to the shooting in support of Uvalde and Uvalde County officers.

Uvalde police officials on Friday agreed to speak with the committee investigating the attack, according to a Republican politician who led the investigation and began to question publicly why the officers hadn’t cooperated sooner.

“It took a little longer than we initially expected,” Dustin Burrows said.

On Thursday, Burrows had expressed his impatience with Uvalde police, tweeting that most people had fully cooperated with their investigation “to help establish the facts” and that he failed to understand why the city’s police “wouldn’t want the same.” “.

He did not say which department members would meet with the commission, which will continue questioning witnesses in Uvalde on Monday. Uvalde police did not respond to messages asking for comment.

Weeks after one of the deadliest school shootings in US history, law enforcement officials have stopped providing updates on what they learned about the shooting and police response.

Silence and confusion

Their silence comes after authorities made conflicting and inaccurate statements in the days following the shooting and retracted statements, sometimes hours after they were made.

Officials also have not released documents sought by media outlets under public information laws, often citing broad exceptions and the ongoing investigation.

The state house committee has interviewed more than a dozen witnesses behind closed doors, including state police, school personnel, and the school district police.

Pete Arrendondo, the police chief of the Uvalde school district, is not on the list of witnesses provided by the commission, which has been criticized for his actions during the attack.

Burrows defended the commission by interviewing witnesses privately and not disclosing their findings so far, saying its members want an accurate record before issuing a report.

“The truth of one person may be different from the truth of another,” the politician said on Friday.

Since the shooting, Republican leaders in Texas have called for more funding for mental health care but not new gun restrictions.

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