In the hours following the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, a horrific revelation began to emerge as stories of police inaction ran rampant.
Officers arriving at the scene simply would not enter the school as the shooting took place, even as parents and residents pleaded with them.
Then, when officers did finally enter the school, a glaring lapse of judgement occurred that authorities are claiming responsibility for on Friday.
Police admitted to a stunning string of failures — including driving right by the gunman — in responding to the Texas school shooting while children were being massacred inside, with the head of the state’s Department of Public Safety saying the time for making excuses about the botched response was over.
The Friday news conference came after days of confusion, inconsistencies and a muddled timeline of law enforcement’s response to the rampage at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Officials were succinct in their self-criticism.
Speaking on the delay in breaching the classroom where the shooter was, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said that “from the benefit of hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. There’s no excuse for that.”
Among the more stark revelations at the news conference:
A school resource officer was not already stationed at the school. When he arrived at the scene, he inadvertently passed the shooter, who was crouched down next to a car.
The back door of the school the gunman entered had been propped open by a teacher earlier in the day.
The admission will almost certainly spark a new debate about what could have or should have occurred in Uvalde.