Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday that he was misled by those providing him information about the deadly shooting at a Uvalde elementary school. He said he is "livid" about the situation.
During a press conference in Uvalde, Abbott said he had taken handwritten notes before a briefing in the community on Wednesday. A blizzard of contradictory information about the Robb Elementary School shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead created an awkward timeline for state officials.
Most significantly, Abbott was leading the messaging on the mass shooting.
"Yes, I was misled," Abbott said. "I am livid about what happened. I was on this very stage two days ago, and I was telling the public information that had been told to me in a room just a few yards behind where we're looking at right now. I wrote down hand notes, in detail, what everybody in that room had told me — in sequential order, about what happened. And when I came out here on that stage and told the public what happened, it was a recitation of what people in that room told me."
Abbott said the investigators, including the Texas Rangers and the FBI, need to be 100% accurate with their information.
"Here's is my expectation is that the law enforcement leaders that are leading the expectations, which includes the Texas Rangers and the FBI, they get to the bottom of every fact with absolute certainty," Abbott said. "There are people who deserve answers the most, and those are the families who's lives have been destroyed. They need answers that are accurate. It is inexcusable they may have suffered from any inaccurate information whatsoever. It is imperative that the leaders of the investigation."
Director and Colonel of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steven C. McCraw speaks during a press conference outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 27, 2022. – McCraw said Friday that in "hindsight" it was the wrong decision for police not to immediately breach the Uvalde classroom where a gunman ultimately shot dead 19 children and two teachers. "From the benefit of hindsight… it was the wrong decision, period," McCraw told a news conference at which he was assailed by questions over why police waited for reinforcements before going in. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
Before Abbott's press conference, the Texas Department of Public Safety director admitted Friday that the decision not to breach a Uvalde elementary school classroom was a mistake — most likely causing further loss of life.
During a contentious press conference in front of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Col. Steven McCraw said law enforcement officers should have entered the classroom, where 19 children and two teachers died, and 17 more students were wounded.
"For the benefit of hindsight of where I'm sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision," McCraw said. "It was the wrong decision, period. There's no excuse for that."
McCraw went on to say that there should have been an entry, but that didn't happen for an hour. This comes in the wake of 911 calls that showed children were pleading with police to get them out of the classroom.
"Hey, with an active shooter, the rules change," McCraw said. "It's no longer a barricaded suspect. We no longer have time."
But it was not McCraw's decision to make. Instead, it was the apparent decision of Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo to order the breach as the on-site commander. Still, McCraw said officers should have acted if there was a problem.
McCraw said that Arredondo might have felt the situation was no longer an active shooter but one of a barricade. On Thursday, DPS officials said a school resource officer never engaged the 18-year-old suspect in a previously described manner. Instead, the man, who shot his grandmother in the face before heading to the school, was able to walk around the school for 12 minutes before police arrived.
A crime scene outline of the Robb Elementary School is presented showing the path of the gunman as the Director and Colonel of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steven C. McCraw speaks at a press conference outside the school in Uvalde, Texas, on May 27, 2022. – McCraw said Friday that in "hindsight" it was the wrong decision for police not to immediately breach the Uvalde classroom where a gunman ultimately shot dead 19 children and two teachers. "From the benefit of hindsight… it was the wrong decision, period," McCraw told a news conference at which he was assailed by questions over why police waited for reinforcements before going in. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)