According to the Texas Tribune, two Uvalde policemen have been placed on paid leave, while the other three continue to work.
After the department carried out an internal evaluation of its officers’ actions during the shooting, the officers were sent to the state Inspector General’s Office for a formal investigation.
According to Travis Considine, a spokesman for Texas DPS, the department finished its internal investigation. It won’t be releasing the names of the five officers to the public, according to ABC News.
A Texas official reported “structural failures” by authorities, including local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel, during the shooting in July, prompting the probe.
Nationwide officials questioned why it took 77 minutes for police to enter two adjacent rooms where a shooter was ruthlessly killing fourth-grade pupils and their teachers.
The district police chief Pete Arredondo, who was the on-scene commander, was fired by the Uvalde school board last month, due to the ineffective police reaction.
Steven McCraw, head of Texas’ DPS, referred to the police response to the incident as “an awful failure.”
Five officers are under investigation for their response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
Now do all 376 officers who responded and did nothing.
— 𝐁𝐞𝐤𝐬 (@antifaoperative) September 7, 2022
Arredondo was “the only thing blocking a hallway of determined officers” from entering the adjacent fourth-grade classrooms where the shooter was ruthlessly executing students and teachers, McCraw testified before a state Senate committee.
He claimed Arredondo “decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”
Law enforcement had a sizable presence at the scene of the shootings. They could have apprehended the 18-year-old shooter in less than three minutes if the on-scene commander had not forbade officers from entering the rooms.
For nearly an hour, the shooter, who was armed with an AR-15-style weapon, continued his attack, while armed police officers with guns gathered in the hallway outside the classroom.
NBC News confirms: Five Texas Department of Public Safety officers have been referred to the state Inspector General's Office for a formal investigation into their actions during the Uvalde school shooting.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 7, 2022
The doors to classrooms 111 and 112 were reinforced and impregnable, according to Arredondo.
According to McGraw, one officer said a Halligan bar, an ax-like forceful entry instrument, arrived eight minutes after the gunman entered the school, contrary to claims police were awaiting a master set of keys to access the classrooms.
McGraw stated the officers never attempted to see if the classroom door was unlocked and it was impossible to lock the door from the inside.
According to a recent CNN article, McCraw emailed Texas DPS staff in July, outlining a new enforcement strategy in the wake of the killings.
More from DPS officers
DPS officers responding to a school shooting will be given the go-ahead to neutralize an attacker without waiting, McCraw wrote.
He said, “A subject who discharges a firearm into a school remains a shooter until he is stopped and is not to be considered as a ‘barricaded subject.'”
Every agency that reacted on that day, including DPS, shares responsibility for this failure, McCraw stated.