Bombshell redux: Uvalde cops were in school with rifles, ballistic shields within minutes

AP Photo/Wong Maye-E

On Sunday, Allahpundit offered what turned out to be only the first part of the answer to the mystery of why the Uvalde school police were trying to shield videos and other records of the day of the shooting from the public. It turns out that the police may have never even tried the door to the classroom to see if it was unlocked. And Arredondo may have flat-out lied through his teeth about his actions initially. But if you thought this roller coaster ride had finally reached the lowest point in the curve, prepare to be disappointed yet again. Some of the surveillance video and body cam video has leaked out to the Austin American Statesman and KVUE and another key portion of the timeline as offered by the police appears to have been blatantly wrong. We were repeatedly told that one of the main reasons for the huge delay in entering the classroom was that the police were only armed with handguns and they were waiting for officers with rifles and heavy shielding to arrive. But one of the earliest images from the surveillance footage clearly shows that the first officers in the hallway had rifles and at least one had a ballistic shield. (NY Post)

Multiple police officers armed with rifles and a ballistic shield were inside Robb Elementary School 19 minutes after the gunman, according to new details — yet law enforcement still waited roughly an hour to breach the classroom where the shooter carried out his deadly rampage last month.

The new details were included in reports by Austin American Statesman and KVUE on Monday and mark the latest revelations into the botched police response to the May 24 mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

Surveillance footage from inside the school showed the armed officers standing inside a hallway at 11:52 a.m. after gunman Salvador Ramos broke into the school at 11:33 a.m. through an exterior door that had failed to automatically lock.

The screen capture from the surveillance video (which you can view here) is tagged as being recorded at 11:52, nineteen minutes after the shooter entered the building. And that image does not show the moment the cops entered. There are already at least three of them at the hallway intersection and they were taking up positions, so they had already been inside for some unknown amount of time.

As you will see in the image, at least two of the three officers are armed with rifles, not handguns. And one of them has a rifle that is affixed to a ballistic shield with a window to allow for aiming and shooting. If someone had simply bothered to see if the door was unlocked at that point and that officer had gone through the door, the shooter would likely have been dead in seconds and the worst that the officer would have suffered might have been a shot to the lower leg. How differently might the story have ended if that were the case?

The officer with the ballistic shield knew they should have been on the move. He is heard saying, “If there’s kids in there, we need to go in there.” By 12:05, two more officers with rifles and ballistic shields were in the hallway. But still, nobody approached the door.

Is this more of the “highly embarrassing information” that the police department’s private law firm mentioned as a reason not to make the images public? If so, it’s not “embarrassing.” It’s a disgrace. It’s also yet another example of how the timeline fed to safety officials and the press shortly after the shooting was an almost complete fabrication. Whether that was deliberate on the part of the police or simply a lack of accurate information making it to the Chief during those chaotic first hours isn’t really the point. This all should have been cleared up long before now.

The point of getting an accurate timeline is not just to point the finger of blame at the police. There’s already more than enough blame to go around. But the entire nation – particularly all of America’s schools – needs to know not only what when wrong that allowed the shooter to enter the building, but also what went wrong with the police response. Because if it could happen in Uvalde, it could happen in other places, and police training programs may need to be revised to prevent a recurrence.