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DPS breaks weeks-long silence to dispute report that troopers waited to barge into Robb Elementary classroom

The Department of Public Safety had not made a public statement about the mass shooting in Uvalde in two weeks.

SAN ANTONIO — The Texas Department of Public Safety Tuesday disputed reports that troopers "massed in the hallway while waiting more than an hour to enter the classrooms" at Robb Elementary. 

Sen. Roland Gutierrez told KENS 5 there were "between 2 and 13 DPS officers at any given time during that period in the hallway." He told the San Antonio Express-News that some of them had ballistic shields, which school police officers inside were reportedly waiting for. 

"I'm not blaming any of them," Gutierrez told KENS 5 Monday. "I want to know why they failed, why there was a communication error, why people weren't talking to each other, and why they didn't breach that building." 

The department did not dispute either of Gutierrez's claims Tuesday, but refuted another media outlet's characterization of troopers' behavior. 

Troopers were not waiting to barge in the classroom, a department spokesman says. Instead, they were helping children evacuate the school.  

It is the first time DPS has offered any update related to the shooting in two weeks. 

19 children and two teachers were shot and killed inside their classrooms in Robb Elementary. Three days after the shooting, Texas DPS head Steve McCraw said that officers waited outside the room for about an hour before attempting to breach the door and engage the shooter.

“From the benefit of hindsight where I'm sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision," McCraw said. "It was a wrong decision. There's no excuse for that. But again, I wasn't there, but I'm just telling you from what we know. We believe there should have been an entry as soon as you can. When there's an active shooter, the rules change." 

In that press conference, McCraw said that Uvalde CISD police chief Pete Arredondo was the on-site incident commander. 

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