Robb Elementary School teacher Eva Mireles called her police officer husband after she was shot. Photo via Twitter
Testimony from a Texas Senate hearing into police’s disastrous response to the Robb Elementary School shooting revealed an officer who attempted to get to his dying teacher wife was detained by other cops and had his gun removed.
Col. Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, described the police response as an “abject failure” as he outlined a detailed timeline from May 24, when a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.
McCraw said there were enough officers and firepower—including rifles and a ballistic shield—to take down the shooter within minutes of police being on scene. Instead, at the instruction of Chief Pete Arredondo, officers waited more than an hour before eventually storming the classroom and killing the gunman.
But not all of the cops on scene were content to wait around. McCraw said one of them, school district officer Ruben Ruiz, received a call from his wife, Eva Mireles. Mireles, a 44-year-old teacher, was trapped inside one of the classrooms with the gunman.
“She said she had been shot and was dying,” McCraw testified at the hearing. “He tried to move forward into the hallway. He was detained and they took his gun away from him and escorted him off the scene.” Mireles died.
McCraw said Arredondo “decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.” He also said in addition to the “lack of leadership” shown on scene, the officers were being given misinformation that the chief was in negotiations with the subject and that he was “contained.”
Arredondo was quietly sworn in as a Uvalde City Council member after the shooting—he was elected before the shooting took place. Last night, council decided not to grant him the leave of absence he’s requested, which means his seat could be declared vacant if he misses two more meetings in a row.
Mayor Don McLaughlin said he was “fed up” with the lack of transparency surrounding the response to the shooting and that he was going to “throw people under the bus,” according to CBS News affiliate KENS 5.
KENS 5 also reported that family members of the shooting victims spoke about Arredondo at the council meeting.
“Everyone needs to be held accountable. Pete, for his inaction, every other officer who didn’t do a damn thing and every one of you who stands idly by,” said Brett Cross, the uncle of one of the victims.