Officers in Uvalde were ready with guns, shields and tools—but not clear orders

By: | June 21, 2022

The officers in the hallway of Robb Elementary wanted to get inside classrooms 111 and 112 — immediately. One officer’s daughter was inside. Another officer had gotten a call from his wife, a teacher, who told him she was bleeding to death.

Two closed doors and a wall stood between them and an 18-year-old with an AR-15 who had opened fire on children and teachers inside the connected classrooms. A Halligan bar — an ax-like forcible-entry tool used by firefighters to get through locked doors — was available. Ballistic shields were arriving on the scene. So was plenty of firepower, including at least two rifles. Some officers were itching to move.

One such officer, a special agent at the Texas Department of Public Safety, had arrived around 20 minutes after the shooting started. He immediately asked: Are there still kids in the classrooms?

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