School Security Features Protected Shooter, Slowed Texas Police Response
Some of the features designed to keep students safe in an active shooter situation actually worked to protect the shooter and slow the Uvalde police response to the Texas school shooting on Tuesday. The shooter managed to barricade himself behind two locked doors, forcing police to wait to find keys.
An 18-year-old shooter shot his way into classroom 111 or 112 at about 11:33 on Tuesday morning, Texas Department of Public Safety Director, Col. Steve McCraw said in a press conference on Friday morning. The classroom doors were unlocked as he entered the classrooms. At that point, the shooter barricaded himself behind the locked doors that were designed to keep an active shooter out of the classrooms.
School awards ceremonies earlier in the morning could have contributed to the classroom doors being open. Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District safety protocols call for all classroom doors to be "closed and locked at all times." The classroom doors were open when the shooter made entry into the school.
Texas Department of Public Safety officials told Breitbart Texas on Friday that these classroom doors are designed to not be able to be kicked in by someone outside the classroom. The doors open toward the hallway and are encased in a metal frame. The windows on the door are a tall, slim rectangular shape designed to limit visibility into the classroom by an active shooter. The two classrooms have a suite-style bathroom between the two classrooms allowing the shooter to move back and forth at will between the rooms. Window blinds also prevented law enforcement from seeing into the classroom.
"Officers could not see into the classrooms to determine where the shooter was and what tactical advantages he might have," DPS Lt. Christopher Olivarez told Breitbart. "The shooter had the tactical advantage the entire time.