May 31, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Teacher closed school door before Uvalde shooting, Texas official says

A memorial outside Robb Elementary School in  Uvalde, Texas, on May 31.

A memorial outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 31. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

A Texas official said Tuesday that a teacher closed a door to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde that had been propped open before a gunman entered the building and killed 19 kids and two teachers last week, retracting details on the shooting that they had previously provided, according to AP.

Why it matters: Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said during a press conference on Friday that the shooter entered the school through a door that had been propped open by a teacher.

  • Investigators originally reported that the unnamed teacher propped open the door with a rock before the shooting started and did not remove it, giving the shooter access to the school.

Yes, but: Travis Considine, chief communications officer for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said that investigators have now determined that the teacher, who was on the phone with 911 at the time, removed the rock after hearing gunshots outside of the school and closed the door but the it did not lock, according to AP.

  • Considine said authorities are now investigating why the door did not lock.

The big picture: Local and state law enforcement officials in Texas are facing ferocious criticism and questioning on why it took so long for officers to confront and stop the Uvalde shooter after he locked himself inside two connected fourth-grade classrooms with teachers and students.

  • Texas authorities have also relayed then later retracted multiple key details about the shooting, including their initial report that a security officer hired by the school confronted the shooter before he entered the building.
  • McCraw said Friday that the security officer was not on campus when shooting near the school was first reported but immediately proceeded to the scene. He also claimed that the officer drove past the shooter and instead confronted a teacher after arriving on campus.

Go deeper: Texas governor issues disaster declaration for Uvalde

Go deeper