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Tags: uvalde massacre | school shooting | law enforcement

Texas DPS Officer Under Investigation Ordered Uvalde Breach Delay

a makeshift memorial at the robb elementary school sign
(Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 20 October 2022 10:32 PM EDT

Leaked audio obtained by CNN shows that Texas Department of Public Safety Capt. Joel Betancourt ordered a strike team delay entering the Uvalde school during the school shooting May 24.

The news comes after DPS director Col. Steven McCraw confirmed last month that Betancourt and seven other officers were under investigation for a delayed entry into Robb Elementary School.

Records indicate that the strike team waited around 70 minutes before breaching any classrooms while Salvador Ramos fatally shot 19 children and two teachers. The 18-year-old also injured 18 others.

Memos written on May 26 detail some DPS involvement that day.

"I heard someone shout out, Capt. Betancourt said all DPS personnel need to be on perimeter, do no (sic) enter building," one lieutenant wrote.

A DPS sergeant wrote that he and another officer entered the building anyway, calling the order "clearly against established training."

Betancourt, who told investigators he arrived at the scene around 12:45 p.m. CST, can be heard in the audio stating, "The team that's going to make breach needs to stand by. The team that's gonna breach needs to stand by."

The news comes as McCraw has deflected much of the blame for the incident onto former Uvalde School District police chief Pete Arredondo, who has consistently claimed he was not commander during the incident.

It could also contradict Betancourt's immediate claims that he had little involvement in the operation before the gunman was killed. According to sources, the senior DPS captain alerted two officers of the ongoing attack himself.

Victor Escalon, the regional DPS director for South Texas, revealed a text from 12:09 p.m. — during the height of the attack — showing what appears to be Betancourt's early involvement on the scene.

"Initial info one person possibly a teacher shot in head, one officer shot, kid has AK 47, CNU [specialist negotiator team] has been activated, suspect is barricaded. Troopers who are medics have been deployed. Drone team is on its way," the text read, according to sources.

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Leaked audio obtained by CNN shows that Texas Department of Public Safety Capt. Joel Betancourt ordered a strike team delay entering the Uvalde school during the school shooting on May 24.
uvalde massacre, school shooting, law enforcement
331
2022-32-20
Thursday, 20 October 2022 10:32 PM
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