Uvalde police held off on confronting shooter because of the rifle he used: report

The police who responded to a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last May held off on confronting the shooter inside the classroom out of concern over the AR-15 rifle he used, according to a report.

A new investigation from the Texas Tribune found that officers decided that “immediately confronting the gunman” and the assault-style weapon “would be too dangerous,” although some of the officers on-scene were equipped with the same rifle.

“You knew that it was definitely an AR. There was no way of going in,” Uvalde Police Department Sgt. Donald Page told investigators, according to the Texas Tribune.

“We had no choice but to wait and try to get something that had better coverage where we could actually stand up to him,” he added.

Uvalde Police Department Detective Louis Landry also reportedly said that “once we found out it was a rifle he was using, it was a different game plan we would have had to come up with.”

The AR-15 has been central in talks of gun violence and gun control in the country, as the assault-style weapon has been used to perpetrate a number of major mass shootings in recent years, including the mass shootings at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., a grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y., and the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

President Biden has repeatedly called for a ban on assault weapons, renewing his urging after a semi-automatic was found with the man suspected of killing seven in Half Moon Bay, Calif., and another wrested from the man suspected of killing 10 in Monterey Park, Calif., in January.

The president’s efforts have met hurdles as his party doesn’t have the congressional supermajority needed for a bill on the matter to pass.

Security camera footage from inside the school and a report from the Texas House committee that investigated the shooting found law enforcement waited for more than an hour outside the fourth grade classrooms where the 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers.

As many as 13 law enforcement officers were present in the hallway while the shooter, Salvador Ramos, was inside the fourth grade classrooms, before taking action to kill the shooter.

Law enforcement was criticized for the delay, which also put off potential medical care for the shooting victims.

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