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The politician admitted that earlier statements he had made about law enforcement’s reaction to the massacre had been wrong, but that he had just repeated what he had been told.
“The information that I was given turned out, in part, to be inaccurate,” he said as he insisted the situation would be “thoroughly, exhaustively” investigated.
“Yes, I was misled. I am livid about what happened,” he said at a Friday press conference in Uvalde.
“The families whose lives have been destroyed need answers.”
And he added: “Law enforcement is going to earn the trust of the public by making sure they thoroughly and exhaustively investigate exactly what happened.”
Mr Abbott’s blunt admission came hours after a top Texas police official admitted that officers in Uvalde made the “wrong decision” in waiting outside the classroom where 21 people were killed, rather than storm it.
Colonel Steven McCraw, director of the state’s Department of Public Safety, stated that police should have immediately taken down Salvador Ramos, rather than wait 40 minutes for a tactical unit and extra equipment.
On Wednesday, the day after the attack, Mr Abbott told a news conference that police had prevented an even worse tragedy with their “quick response” and praised their actions.
“The reality is, as horrible as what happened, it could have been worse. The reason it was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do,” Mr Abbott said at the time.
And he added: “They showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives.”
Col. McCraw has admitted that under police training standards in Texas, officers aren’t supposed to wait for tactical backup before neutralising an active shooter, and that there were enough officers on the scene to have been able to stop the gunman.
“When it comes to an active shooter, you don’t have to wait on tactical gear,” he said,” adding, “There were plenty of officers to do what needed to be done.”
In the state, when an active shooting is declared, police are supposed to go as soon as possible and stop the shooter.