Report: Officers were in Uvalde school with rifles, shield 19 minutes after gunman

Police officers with rifles and at least one ballistic shield were in a hallway at Robb Elementary School around 19 minutes after a gunman entered classrooms there, according to reports from Texas news organizations Monday.

The Austin American-Statesman said the timeline was based on documents it reviewed following the May 24 attack in Uvalde that killed 19 children and two teachers.

The Texas Tribune on Monday night also reported the new details, citing records and surveillance video it had reviewed.

NBC News has not seen or reviewed the documents.

But the reports could raise further questions about the long delay before officers breached the classroom doors and killed the 18-year-old gunman.

It was around 80 minutes from when the gunman entered the school around 11:33 a.m. and when police entered the classroom around 12:50 p.m. and killed him, according to official accounts.

According to the Statesman, a reconstructed timeline shows officers were inside the school three minutes after the gunman entered.

Pete Arredondo, police chief for the school district, at 11:40 a.m. called Uvalde police for help and said, “We have him in the room. He’s got an AR-15. He’s shot a lot,” according to the Statesman.

Arredondo said also said “They need to be outside the building prepared because we don’t have firepower right now” and “it’s all pistols,” according to the newspaper.

A lawyer for Arredondo did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reports Monday night.

Law enforcement officers were seen on security camera with rifles and a ballistic shield in a hallway at 11:52 a.m., according to the report.

“If there’s kids in there, we need to go in there,” one officer is reported to have said.

Another responded, “Whoever is in charge will determine that,” it said.

The Texas Tribune reported that in the records and materials it reviewed, no security footage from inside the school showed police officers attempting to open the doors to classrooms 111 and 112.

Authorities have said that officers eventually entered the classroom using keys provided by a janitor.

The Tribune reported that based on what it reviewed, one officer said minutes into the response that a Halligan bar, which is a firefighting tool, was on site but it wasn’t brought into the school for an hour, and that authorities waited for keys instead.

The police account of the massacre changed in the days after the rampage, sparking anger. Gov. Greg Abbott said he had been “misled.”

The U.S. Justice Department on May 29 announced that it will review the law enforcement response. Experts have said that will most likely focus on the delay in confronting the gunman.

The new information is expected to be presented Tuesday to a Texas Senate hearing, according to the Statesman.

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