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The latest on the Uvalde school massacre investigation
By Dakin Andone, Ray Sanchez, Derrick Hinds and Adrienne Vogt, CNN
Texas DPS plans to release body camera footage, director says
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steven McCraw confirmed his agency planned to eventually release footage from body cameras and the inside of Robb Elementary.
"Whenever the district attorney approves it, we are going to release all the body camera coverage, we're going to release all the school video and the funeral video," McCraw said when asked by State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who represents District 19, including Uvalde, when DPS would release body camera data.
Before that happens, DPS will have to conclude its investigation, he noted, at which point the case will be handed over to Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Busbee, who will have the opportunity to review it.
Texas DPS has arranged for Robb Elementary shooter's grandmother to be interviewed
From CNN’s Rebekah Riess
The Texas Department of Public Safety has arranged for shooter Salvador Ramos’ grandmother to be interviewed, Col. Steven McCraw, department director, told the Texas Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans.
“Unfortunately, she can't talk right now. It’s very difficult. She lost her jaw. But we're arranging for an interview with her, and she's been gracious to authorize that as long as her daughter's there,” the director said.
“We’ll be doing that if we haven't done it already. We'll be doing that here shortly,” McCraw said.
The shooter’s 66-year-old grandmother remains at University Hospital in San Antonio in good condition, according to a tweet from the hospital on Tuesday. The gunman allegedly shot his grandmother before the massacre.
Response to Uvalde shooting "set our profession back a decade," DPS director says
From CNN's Ray Sanchez
After laying out the many failures of the law enforcement response to the Uvalde school massacre, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety says the actions of police that day "set our profession back a decade."
"I appear to be hypercritical of the on-scene commander and I don't mean to be, but the facts are the facts," Col. Steven McCraw told the Texas Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans.
"Mistakes were made. It should have never happened that way. And we can't allow that ever to happen in our profession. This set our profession back a decade is what it did."
The response could pose lasting damage to the reputation of law enforcement, he said, adding: "When I say we -- we as a law enforcement community. And when one fails, we all fail, plain and simple."
Here's why Texas DPS didn't take command during the Uvalde shooting
Asked why his agency did not take command of the Uvalde shooting after arriving at the scene, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steven McCraw said the person in charge is typically the "ranking official of the agency that has jurisdiction."
"That's by practice and doctrine," McCraw said.
In the case of the shooting at Robb Elementary School last month, it meant Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pedro "Pete" Arredondo was in charge. His leadership and the decisions he made have come under increased scrutiny in the weeks since the shooting, especially his decision to delay breaching the classroom while waiting for more manpower and equipment.
"The sheriff and the chief of the police of the Uvalde Police Department also deferred and said yes, he is the on-scene commander," McCraw said, adding Arredondo was on the scene throughout the entire shooting incident. "So by actions and deeds, he issued commands and had information and provided information and controlled the scene."
"DPS, the Border Patrol, FBI, everybody that came in afterwards, US Marshals that came in afterwards, it is not the practice or policy to take over anything," he said.
It's "understandable" why parents wanted to go into school during shooting, DPS head says
The director of the Texas Department of Public Safety did not fault parents of Uvalde Elementary School students for wanting to enter the school while the shooting was ongoing, but he said the decision to keep them out was equally understandable.
In his testimony before the Texas Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans, Col. Steven McCraw said parents were updated through an email system as the shooting unfolded and told to stay away from campus.
"But parents being parents, as time goes by, where are you going to? You want to know if it's your child," McCraw said. "They're emotional. They're desperate."
In the days after the shooting, footage emerged of frantic parents outside the school who appeared frustrated with the law enforcement response. One told the Washington Post he and others wanted to storm the school to retrieve their children as they heard gunshots from the inside.
Some parents had to be restrained from law enforcement, McCraw said Tuesday, noting at least two parents were detained by DPS personnel. One was trying to break through the police perimeter, while another was trying to get to students on a school bus. But he was not aware of any parents being arrested.
"They were restrained and understandably so," McCraw said. "And I'm not saying it's a bad idea at all to have a perimeter and keep people out, especially if it's a barricaded situation. It's understandable why the call was to keep parents out, it's also understandable why parents wanted to go in."
DPS director calls inability to lock school doors from inside "ridiculous"
Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said most doors at Robb Elementary School could not be locked from the inside.
"This is ridiculous, and it's inexcusable if you're looking at it from a security standpoint," he told the Texas Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans.
Asked by a committee member if the idea the school had gone into lockdown during the assault was a myth, McGraw said, "I would absolutely agree in this case."
McGraw emphasized there was "not an effective lockdown" in place at the time of the shooting.
DPS Timeline: Officers had rifles and equipment in the minutes after gunman entered school
From CNN's Ray Sanchez and Eric Levenson
In the days after last month’s deadly school shooting at Robb Elementary, authorities said a gunman with an assault-style rifle entered two adjacent classrooms, shot children and teachers and barricaded himself behind locked doors, preventing outgunned responding officers from stopping him until 77 minutes later.
But the director of the Department of Public Safety, Col. Steven McCraw, said Tuesday the doors were not locked, and the officers had sufficient equipment to respond.
The timeline laid out by McCraw noted at 11:33 a.m., "Suspect Enters the school through the west door."
The timeline also showed at 11:35 a.m., "3 Uvalde PD Officers enter west door (including 2 rifles)" and at 11:52 a.m., the "FIRST ballistic shield enters the west door."
But preliminary evidence suggests none of the officers attempted to open the classroom door until moments before taking down the gunman, according to a law enforcement source close to the investigation and reporting in the Texas Tribune and the Austin American-Statesman.
A security footage image obtained by the Austin American-Statesman showed at least three officers in the hallway – two with rifles and one who appeared to have a tactical shield – at 11:52 a.m., 19 minutes after the gunman entered the school. Officers remained in a hallway outside the classrooms and did not try to enter until 12:50 p.m.
During that time, children were still alive and calling 911 for help. One student told CNN she smeared herself with her friend’s blood and played dead.
The committee is back in session
The Texas Senate committee is back in session.
Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, will continue to answer questions from other state senators.