Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says officials 'were not told the truth' about Uvalde shooting timeline
TexasLt. Gov. Dan Patricksaid officials "were not told the truth" about the timeline of the Uvalde shooting.
- In at least 12 instances, police have changed the narrative of how they responded to the gunman.
The Republican Lt. Gov. made the comments Saturday on "Fox & Friends Weekend," noting that he was unsure of whether officials were misinformed purposefully or if details were misremembered by those relaying them.
"We were told a different set of facts than we now know," Patrick said. "The bottom line is we have to have the facts and the truth because it only makes the situation worse for the families when they hear changing stories."
In at least 12 instances, police have changed the narrative of how law enforcement reacted to the 18-year-old gunman's rampage in which he killed 19 children and two teachers. On Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott said he was "misled" and was "absolutely livid about that."
"We were told that there was a security officer, and they were a little hazy on how the engagement went, but that a security officer was there. Well, it turned out he was not on campus. He drove onto the campus, but he was not on campus, as we were told and led to believe," Patrick said on Saturday.
He added: "No one mentioned the fact that there was this 45-minute to an hour hold by the chief of the police of the school district while there were still shots being fired. Now, we believe that most of those shots were being fired into the door of the wall to hold back law enforcement. But we don't know."
On the day of the massacre, a resource officer drove past the gunman, who was hiding behind a car, and mistakenly confronted a teacher, Texas authorities said in an update.
Local authorities also claimed they responded "within minutes" to the
"Imagine the parent who has to go through this for the rest of their life, and they will be thinking, 'Was my child still alive and could have been saved?' So that was another fact that we weren't told. And so this is heartbreaking. This is horrendous," Patrick said on Saturday.
He added that officers on the scene ultimately "did not follow protocol," a message echoed by experts on police training.
"The police that went in were brave. The police that were on hold were following their orders. Eventually, some went in and said, 'It's time to go,' but it was a bad decision, and that decision cost lives," Patrick said.
The Lt. Gov. noted that there have been five major shootings in Texas since he and Gov. Abbott took office in 2014: Sutherland Springs in 2017, Santa Fe in 2018, Walmart and Odessa in 2019, and now
"We've had a lot of funerals, a lot of memorial services, a lot of hospital visits. So I take this personally, and I know the governor takes it personally," Patrick said. "This takes a toll on us, and when we sit down with law enforcement, we expect to be told the truth in our briefing."
He also added that Beto O'Rourke – Abbott's Democratic challenger for governor who interrupted a press conference with Abbott and Patrick calling for stronger gun control – "made a total ass of himself."
"What offended me was that he put himself above these families," Patrick said. "The pain is unimaginable. I've been there before with these families... There's nothing I can say as lieutenant governor to heal that pain. And that was disrespectful what he did."
On Saturday evening, Patrick walked back his earlier statement about how the officers' decision to wait to breach the classroom "was a bad decision, and that decision cost lives."
"In my morning Fox interview, I said the decision not to go in sooner cost lives. I meant to say & thought I said 'may have' cost lives. Talking back & forth with the host I didn't realize it until later. The investigation of that time period is still ongoing," Patrick said in a tweet.
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