Texas DPS reverses course, now says armed officer was not present to engage shooter at Uvalde school

Initial reports Wednesday out of Uvalde, Texas, indicated that an active shooter had fought his way past an armed school resource officer before he entered the building and ultimately shot and killed 19 elementary students and two adult teachers.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has now stated the opposite, though, and said that the shooter’s entry into the school had not been obstructed by an armed police officer or even a securely locked door, the Daily Wire reported.

That admission — which raises its own questions about the police response and initial reports — significantly upset an immediate Democratic narrative denouncing the supposed ineffectiveness of armed officers at schools to prevent or immediately counter an active shooter, which is a main proposed solution from Republicans.

Texas DPS now says no officer present at school

Fox News reporter Bill Melugin tweeted Thursday afternoon, “BREAKING: Texas DPS now says that there was no school police officer who encountered or engaged the mass shooter at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX. The shooter was not confronted before entry and it appears he walked into the school through an unlocked door, per DPS.”

Indeed, during a Thursday news conference to provide updates on the shooting, a Texas DPS official had replied “No” when asked directly if an armed school officer had been present on the campus.

Using some vague wording, the South Texas Regional Director Victor Escalon explained, “So, at this time, no. There was not an officer readily available, armed, no.” When pressed on that, though, he added, “I can’t answer that — yet. I’ll circle back with you.”

The initial claim about the officer present spurred furious recriminations from left

Compare that admission Thursday with what had initially been claimed by Texas DPS Wednesday morning in the immediate aftermath of the school shooting, as reported at that time by Fox News’ Melugin.

“NEW: Texas DPS tells me there was in fact a school police officer on campus at Robb Elementary who exchanged gunfire with the shooter and the officer was shot & injured. That is when the shooter ran inside the school, barricaded himself in a class, & began killing,” the journalist posted.

That original claim, that the shooter had shot his way past an armed officer before launching a murder spree inside the school, had immediately prompted many Democrats and gun control advocates on the left to swiftly and furiously decry as ineffective and worthless the Republican calls for more armed officers at school as a preventative measure.

As examples of such, and citing the initial reports out of Uvalde as proof, PolitiFact rated as “false” a claim from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that armed officers at schools had been proven effective as deterrents to active shooters. Likewise, left-leaning The Intercept published a lengthy piece on the topic that argued the opposite of Cruz — that armed officers at schools had been proven to make students less safe and increase the risk of an active shooter situation.

There is a debate worth having about the relative effectiveness of armed officers at schools, but it appears now that, at least in terms of the Uvalde tragedy, it is a moot point and that particular incident can’t be used as a proof of point for either side.

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