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Some 340,000 exterior school doors across the state of Texas will be checked following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in the small-town Uvalde last month, a state education official said Tuesday.
The Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath told the state Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans on Tuesday that his agency will conduct a review of external entry points of every school in Texas, which is about 340,000 doors, The Texas Tribune reported.
Earlier in the hearing, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw testified that the door was unlocked to the classroom where an 18-year-old gunman carried out the massacre.
He said that upon viewing video of the hallway inside the school, he never observed Uvalde officers attempt to enter the classroom as they instead waited for a key that was never needed.
McCraw said that the on-scene commander, Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde school district police chief, therefore, had “decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”
He also ripped the police response to the shooting as an “abject failure,” saying the officers could have prevented the shooting within three minutes, yet they instead waited one hour, 14 minutes and 8 seconds.
The shooting left 19 children and two teachers dead. The suspect was killed by a Border Patrol tactical team.
Afterward, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin criticized the special hearing as the “Bozo the Clown show” and accused McCraw of spreading false information about the shooting, The Dallas Morning News reported.
During a special meeting called by the mayor Tuesday night, the Uvalde City Council denied Arredondo’s leave of absence request from future council meetings in an effort to increase accountability.
Arredondo, who is a council member, is facing calls to resign over his handling of the May 24 shooting.
The state special Senate hearing continued Wednesday with lawmakers focusing on mental health.