- Greg Abbott on Wednesday suggested that the Texas school massacre “could’ve been worse.”
- Abbott was lauding law enforcement officers in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde.
- He said that had officers not shown “amazing courage” and “saved lives,” the incident could have had a worse outcome.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a press conference on Wednesday that the Uvalde school massacre “could’ve been worse.”
Speaking about the events of the shooting, Abbott lauded law enforcement officers, saying that without their intervention, the tragedy would likely have had worse consequences.
“Let me emphasize something that I know you all know. The reality is, as horrible as what happened, it could have been worse,” Abbott said.
“The reason it was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do. They showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives,” he added.
“And it is a fact that because of their quick response, getting on the scene of being able to respond to the gunman and eliminating the gunman, they were able to save lives. Unfortunately, not enough,” Abbott said. “But I want to make sure that everybody knows all of the law enforcement agencies and groups that are involved and were involved in this process.”
The mass shooting at the Robb Elementary School resulted in at least 21 people being killed, including 19 children and two adults. Per accounts from law enforcement, the shooter barricaded himself in the school for around 40 minutes after being spotted by a school district resource officer.
Speaking to NBC News, Lt. Chris Olivarez said the shooter barricaded himself in a classroom. An anonymous law enforcement official told the Associated Press that border patrol agents trying to get into the classroom could not open the door and had to ask a staff member to open it with a key.
According to the AP, frustrated onlookers shouted at and urged police officers to go into the school.
Javier Cazares, the father of Jacklyn Cazares, a fourth-grader killed in the attack, told the AP that he suggested parents charge the school if the police were not doing so.
“Let’s just rush in because the cops aren’t doing anything like they are supposed to,” Cazares said. “More could have been done. They were unprepared.”
Abbott has blamed the incident and other mass shootings on mental health issues, despite there being no evidence at the moment that the gunman had a mental illness. Abbott was on Wednesday interrupted at his press conference by political opponent Beto O’Rourke — who berated Abbott for “doing nothing” about gun violence.