Video: Texas Police Lt: Officers Did Not Try to 'Disable' Shooter Sooner Because 'They Could've Been Shot'


A Texas law enforcement official is offering an explanation as to why police officers in Uvalde waited to engage the gunman in Robb Elementary School.

Lt. Chris Olivarez, of the Texas Department of Public Safety, appeared on CNN’s “Situation Room” Thursday night and faced questions about law enforcement’s response to Tuesday’s shooting.

He told host Wolf Blitzer that several officers entered the school and started taking fire from the gunman.

“As they were taking gunfire, they were also calling in for reinforcements — backup tactical teams, snipers, any additional personnel that could arrive to assist not only with the situation but also to assist with evacuating students and teachers,” Olivarez said.

He continued, “At that time, that’s when a U.S. Border Patrol tactical officer arrived also with a Zavala County sheriff’s deputy, as well as two additional Uvalde Police Department officers were able to go into the classroom with a ballistic shield as cover.”

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“And, of course, we know that one of those officers, an agent, actually was shot, was grazed on the top of the head. But they were able to shoot and kill the suspect and preserve any other life. We know that there [were] other injured children inside that classroom that they were able to save as well,” he added.

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However, Blitzer asked, “Don’t current best practices, lieutenant, call for officers to disable a shooter as quickly as possible, regardless of how many officers are actually on site?”

Do you think this is a reasonable answer?

“Correct. [In] the active shooter situation, you want to stop the killing, you want to preserve life. But also one thing that, of course, the American people need to understand is that officers are making entry into this building. They do not know where the gunman is,” Olivarez responded.

He continued, “They are hearing gunshots. They are receiving gunshots. At that point, if they proceeded any further, not knowing where the suspect was at, they could’ve been shot, they could’ve been killed, and at that point, that gunman would have had an opportunity to kill other people inside that school.”

“So they were able to contain that gunman inside that classroom so that he was not able to go to any other portions of the school to commit any other killings,” he added.

Victor Escalon, a regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety, told reporters that roughly an hour passed from when the gunman entered the classroom to when he was shot, as IJR reported.

CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz asked, “What were the officers doing between 11:44 and 12:44? You guys have said he was barricaded. Can you explain to us how he was barricaded and why you guys did not breach that door?”

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“I have taken all your questions into consideration,” Escalon responded.

Prokupecz pressed, “We’ve been given a lot of bad information, so why don’t you clear all of this up and explain to us how it is that your officers were in there for an hour…but yet no one was able to get inside that room?”

Tuesday’s shooting at Robb Elementary School marks the second deadliest shooting at an elementary school in U.S. history. Nineteen children and two adults were killed.

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