Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday he was “livid” after learning he received partially inaccurate information about the Uvalde school shooting response, fuming that he was initially “misled” by law enforcement.
“Short answer: Yes, I was misled. I am livid about what happened,” Mr. Abbott said at a press conference at Uvalde High School about the attack in which 19 children and two teachers were killed.
The governor praised law enforcement at Wednesday’s media briefing in Uvalde for their quick response to the shooting, only to learn Friday that officers waited for more than an hour after arriving at Robb Elementary School to breach the fourth-grade classroom and take out the 18-year-old gunman.
“I was on this very stage two days ago and I was telling the public information that had been told to me in a room just a few yards behind where we’re located right now,” he said. “I wrote down hand notes in detail about what everybody in that room told me, in sequential order, about what happened. When I came out here on this stage and told the public what happened, it was a recitation of what people in that room told me.”
Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety have since revised the initial account.
SEE ALSO: Texas shooting revives calls for ‘red flag’ laws to take guns from dangerous people
Not only did officers wait an hour and 15 minutes after arriving before breaching the classroom where the students and teachers were killed, but no school resource officer confronted the gunman, as initially reported.
“As everybody has learned, the information that I was given turned out in part to be inaccurate,” Mr. Abbott said. “I’m absolutely livid about that. And here’s my expectation. My expectation is that the law enforcement leaders that are leading the investigations, which includes the Texas Rangers and the FBI, they get to the bottom of every fact with absolute certainty.”
Mr. Abbott made his second appearance in three days in Uvalde to announce and offer extensive benefits to the victims’ families and others affected by the deadly shooting, including assistance with healthcare, counseling, unemployment, travel, food, insurance and childcare.
The state has established a central headquarters for assistance at the Uvalde County Fairplex.
Mr. Abbott also announced a fund for shooting victims and their families through the One Star Foundation, as well as the Robb School Memorial Fund at the First Bank of Uvalde.
“Texas stands with Uvalde for the long term in helping every single person in this community be able to piece their lives back together, to heal as much as they possibly can. We will be here as long as it takes,” Mr. Abbott said.
SEE ALSO: Police made ‘wrong decision’ by waiting instead of charging Uvalde shooter: Texas official
He said an anonymous donor has provided $175,000 to cover the costs of funerals and services, stressing that “no family … will have to worry about a single cost” associated with the tragedy.
The gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, shot his grandmother, who is in stable condition, before entering the school through a propped-open back door. He was shot and killed at the scene by a tactical team of Border Patrol agents and local law enforcement.
Mr. Abbott rejected suggestions that laws signed in this year’s legislative session had an impact on the Uvalde shooting, but said he fully expects the state to act on the lessons learned from the horrific shooting.
“Let me make one thing perfectly clear: the status quo is unacceptable. This crime is unacceptable,” he said. “We’re not going to be here talking about it and do nothing about it. We will be looking for the best laws we can get passed to make communities safe.”
He stressed that the families of the victims deserve information that is “100% accurate.”
“It is inexcusable that they may have suffered from any inaccurate information whatsoever,” Mr. Abbott said. “It is imperative that the leaders of the investigations about exactly what happened get down to the very second of exactly what happened with 100% accuracy and explain it to the public, but most importantly, to the victims that have been devastated.”