13 Texas state troopers among the police who waited in hallway before confronting Uvalde shooter

Until now, DPS officials haven't publicly stated the extent of troopers' involvement in entering the school.

click to enlarge Members of law enforcement lay flowers at a makeshift memorial outside Robb Elementary School. - JOSEPH GUILLEN
Joseph Guillen
Members of law enforcement lay flowers at a makeshift memorial outside Robb Elementary School.
Three weeks after the tragic Uvalde massacre, the worst school-shooting in Texas history, details of the law-enforcement response — or lack thereof — continue to emerge.

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez now tells the Express-News he learned that as many as 13 Texas Department of Public Safety troopers waited in a hallway at Robb Elementary School as the gunman's rampage continued to play out. Gutierrez, a Democrat whose district includes Uvalde, told the daily that DPS Director Steven McCraw revealed the detail during a June 2 exchange.

McCraw and other law enforcement officials have faced blowback for offering confusing and contradictory information about how police responded to the shooting, which left 19 children and two teachers dead.

After a DPS spokesman initially told media that the shooter “was engaged by law enforcement” as he arrived at the school, McCraw subsequently walked back the claim at a news conference.

More criticism mounted over reports that school district Police Chief Pete Arredondo made the call to wait more than an hour for backup instead of rushing inside a classroom to take down the shooter.

McCraw has previously acknowledged that as many as 19 officers from several law-enforcement agencies waited in the hall of the school, however, according to the Express-News, DPS hasn't previously revealed the extent of its involvement.

“We’re supposed to be the big bad-ass cops in the region,” Gutierrez told the daily, referring to DPS. “What happened here? Where were they situated in that building, and what time did they get there? When it came to protecting our children, we failed.”

Separate federal, state and local inquiries are playing out into the shooting, including a U.S. Justice Department review of the law-enforcement response.

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