- A CNN reporter called out a Texas official over “bad information” about the Uvalde school shooting.
- “Why don’t you clear all of this up now,” CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz said during a briefing.
- The Texas Department of Public Safety has given conflicting accounts about the school shooting.
A CNN reporter on Thursday called out a Texas law enforcement official, saying reporters have been given “bad information” during a press briefing about the deadly Uvalde, Texas, elementary school mass shooting.
“Our job is to report the facts and later we can answer those questions. I don’t have enough information,” Texas Department of Public Safety South Texas Regional Director Victor Escalon admitted during the press conference as he was unable to provide solid answers to several pressing questions about Tuesday’s massacre.
Reporters at the briefing nearby Robb Elementary School — where an 18-year-old gunman slaughtered 19 children and two teachers inside a fourth grade classroom — grew increasingly frustrated when Escalon could not answer certain questions about the police response to the carnage and were given conflicting reports by the state agency.
“You guys have said [the shooter] was barricaded. Can you explain to us how he was barricaded and why you guys cannot breach that door?” CNN correspondent Shimon Prokupecz asked Escalon, prompting the law enforcement official to say, “I am taking all your questions into consideration.”
—Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 26, 2022
“You should be able to answer that question now, sir,” Prokupecz said back to Escalon. “Because we’ve been given a lot of bad information, so why don’t you clear all of this up now and explain to us how it is that your officers were in there for an hour, yes, rescuing people, but yet no one was able to get inside that room.”
Escalon told the CNN reporter that he would have “circle back” with him.
“We want to give you the why. That’s our jobs, so give us time. I’m taking all your questions. I am taking them back to talk to the team,” Escalon said before ending the briefing.
Escalon said on Thursday that the shooter wielding an AR-15 rifle entered Robb Elementary School “unobstructed” at around 11:40 a.m. on Tuesday after shooting and wounding his grandmother at their home nearby.
It was an hour later when a US Border Patrol tactical team stormed into the classroom and shot and killed the gunman.
The Texas Department of Public Safety has said that a school resource officer “approached” and “engaged” the gunman before he entered the school building, but Escalon said Thursday that that account was “not accurate.”
“He walked in unobstructed, initially,” Escalon said, explaining that the door of the school building appeared to be unlocked.
Bystanders at the elementary school on Tuesday told The Associated Press that some officers on the scene at the time did not enter the building as the gunman was inside even as parents pleaded for them to enter.
“I have heard that information, but we have not verified that yet,” Escalon said Thursday. “We have not verified that is a true statement or not.”