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Texas Police Official Says Cops Were Reluctant To Engage Gunman Because ‘They Could’ve Been Shot’

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DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez.

A Texas police lieutenant told CNN that responding officers were reluctant to engage the gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas because “they could’ve been shot.”

The shooter was inside the school for about an hour before officers finally breached the classroom he was in and shot and killed him. By that time, nineteen children and two teachers were murdered.

Uvalde officials are facing scrutiny and parents and reporters demanded answers during a contentious press conference Thursday afternoon. Some parents with children in the school said they were prevented from going in by officers.

One girl inside the room reportedly bled for an hour after she was shot. She died at a hospital.

On Thursday, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez, if officers at the scene made the correct choice to wait for backup before they went after the gunman.

“Don’t current best practices, don’t they call for officers to disable a shooter as quickly as possible, regardless of how many officers are actually on site?” asked Blitzer.

Olivarez said the officers who arrived at the school quickly feared they might have been shot had they attempted to take out the gunman alone.

“The active shooter situation, you want to stop the killing, you want to preserve life, but also one thing that – of course, the American people need to understand — that officers are making entry into this building. They do not know where the gunman is. They are hearing gunshots.”

He added: “At that point, if they proceeded any further not knowing where the suspect was at, they could’ve been shot, they could’ve been killed, and that gunman would have had an opportunity to kill other people inside that school.”

Watch the interview below from CNN.