Father of a Texas elementary shooting victim says more kids would be alive if police engaged shooter sooner

·2 min read
Law enforcement personnel stand outside Robb Elementary School
Law enforcement personnel stand outside Robb Elementary School following a shooting, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.Dario Lopez-Mills/AP
  • Conflicting reports emerged on how police responded to the Texas elementary school shooting.

  • Parents are demanding accountability for police hesitation to engage with the shooter.

  • "Somebody has to be held accountable. Somebody was wrong," one victim's father told CNN.

The father of one of the victims killed in the Texas elementary school shooting said fewer kids would have been saved if police did not hesitate to engage the shooter.

Alfred Garza, whose 10-year-old daughter Amerie Jo was killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, told CNN he was in disbelief over how long it took for police to enter the school.

"It doesn't take a genius to figure out that it just took too long to get in there and, you know, had they gotten there sooner, and someone would have taken immediate action, we might have more of those children here today," Garza told CNN. "Including my daughter."

The gunman baricaded himself in a classroom fatally shooting 21 people, including 19 children.

Law enforcement officials have given conflicting accounts of what happened in the approximate hour the gunman was inside the school.

While officials said that officers responded to the scene "within minutes," they didn't specify how long it took for police to engage with the shooter.

Reports and images of parents trying to push through law enforcement to rescue their children surfaced in the days following the shooting, and some parents have said police did not immediately respond when urged to enter the school.

A top Texas law enforcement official said Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredond made the call to delay authorities from breaching the classroom where the 18-year-old gunman had barricaded himself. 

CNN reported that at one point, up to 19 officers were waiting in the hallway when the gunman was inside the classroom.

Garza demands accountability for police actions during the shooting.

"Somehow, someway, someone needs to answer for, you know, what was done," Garza said. "When somebody out here does something wrong, they have to pay for it, so what is the law got to pay, whoever was responsible, how are they going to try to make it right?"

"Somebody has to be held accountable. Somebody was wrong," he added.

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