While Americans were saddened last month to hear that 19 children and 2 adults were murdered at a Texas school, their sadness turned to anger after it was revealed that police stood by for nearly an hour as victims died.
The anger is likely to grow following a new report that an off-duty police officer was disarmed and detained when he attempted to enter the school.
Officer attempted to confront the shooter
According to San Antonio’s KSTAT, which cited remarks made on Thursday by Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steven McCraw.
McCraw explained that Ruben Ruiz, serves as a police officer for the local school district and was married to Eva Mireles, who worked as a teacher at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
Mireles telephoned her husband and told him that she had been wounded by a gunman who was in the process of shooting up the school.
McCraw recounted how Mireles told Ruiz that she “was dying” prompting him to rush to the scene. Yet rather than being allowed to confront the shooter he was instead taken into custody.
“And what happened to him, is he tried to move forward into the hallway,” McCraw said. “He was detained and they took his gun away from him and escorted him off the scene.”
This latest revelation came as McCraw testified before Texas lawmakers, during which he launched into a blistering attack on the “abject failure” by authorities to save lives.
The school police chief said to have made “terrible decisions”
McCraw expressed bafflement over officers refusing to enter the classroom where the shooter was holed up, saying, “I don’t care if you have on flip-flops and Bermuda shorts, you go in.”
McCraw had particularly harsh words for Pete Arredondo, who is the Uvalde school district’s police chief. He complained that Arredondo made “terrible decisions” which “set our profession back a decade.”
“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering Room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” McCraw said.
He also dismissed suggestions that the classroom’s door was locked saying he has “great reasons to believe it was never secured,” adding, “How about trying the door and seeing if it’s locked?”