A former police chief blasted Uvalde, Texas, law enforcement for what he described as a slow response to a recent mass shooting, arguing that the goal is to move gunfire away from defenseless victims.
Former DeKalb County, Georgia, Police Chief Cedric Alexander shared the strong words during a panel discussion on “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd on Sunday.
“Officers on that scene who arrive first, you go inside that building. You follow that gunfire, and the whole intention is move that gunfire away from the innocent victims who are innocent and defenseless and you move that gunfire toward you,” Alexander said.
“You have an opportunity to win that gun battle. There is no other option. There’s nothing else to take about,” he added.
WATCH: Fmr. DeKalb County, Ga. Police Chief Cedric Alexander describes the duties of police officers during mass shootings:@Calex_law: “The whole intention here is to move that gunfire away from those innocent victims … who are defenseless. You move that gunfire towards you.” pic.twitter.com/oq9dfCy3Y2
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 29, 2022
Alexander also argued that the response is the expectation of the officers based on their years of training.
“When you respond to that scene, that is your training. That’s what you’ve been training to do for the last 23 years, so that’s what you do,” he added.
The former police chief argued an officer must respond immediately, whether it’s the top leader or the newest person on the team.
“These innocent babies had absolutely nothing, nothing, so it is your responsibility, it’s my responsibility, if I’m the incident commander or if I’m the last person hired,” he added.
The reaction comes as new information continues to be discovered that shows a lengthy response time between when officers first arrived at Robb Elementary School and when the shooter was engaged and taken down in the classroom more than an hour later.
New details revealed that the shooter entered an open door at the school and was not confronted by a school resource officer. The shooter also locked himself into a classroom where he remained with students for an extended period before a local Border Patrol agent and two other agents forced their way into the classroom to take out the shooter.
The Border Patrol agent who killed the shooter was also wounded in the incident, with a bullet grazing the top of his head.
Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin posted an image of the damaged hat worn by the officer.
“This is the hat the elite, veteran BORTAC Border Patrol agent was wearing when he breached the classroom with a tactical team and engaged/killed the Uvalde school shooter, a CBP source tells me. Graze wound to head. Many BP agents in Uvalde have kids at the school,” he wrote.
NEW: This is the hat the elite, veteran BORTAC Border Patrol agent was wearing when he breached the classroom with a tactical team and engaged/killed the Uvalde school shooter, a CBP source tells me. Graze wound to head. Many BP agents in Uvalde have kids at the school. @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/924WCOZjsK
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) May 25, 2022
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has announced a plan to assist those impacted by the shooting.
“Announcing the State of Texas’ comprehensive plan to assist Texans affected by the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School,” he wrote. “We will be with the victims’ families and entire Uvalde community every step of the way.”
Announcing the State of Texas’ comprehensive plan to assist Texans affected by the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School.
We will be with the victims’ families and entire Uvalde community every step of the way. https://t.co/Up2PfaaJjy
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) May 27, 2022