Uvalde school shooting: Texas governor attended fundraising event as police dealt with aftermath of massacre

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Texas governor Greg Abbott reportedly spent almost three hours at a fundraiser for his re-election campaign after the Uvalde school shooting unfolded - amid criticism the event was not cancelled.

Mr Abbott said he stopped at the 24 May event to inform people he couldn't stay because he wanted to continue his "collaboration with Texas law enforcement" after the massacre at Robb Elementary School.

But campaign finance reports and flight tracking records show the Republican politician arrived in Huntsville at 4.52pm, before being driven to a local supporter's home around two miles away.

He didn't leave the city until 7.47pm, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Hours earlier, teenage gunman Salvador Rolando Ramos killed two teachers and 19 children after police waited more than an hour to storm the building.

A damning report released earlier this month found some of the victims "could have been saved" if they had received more rapid attention.

Ramos, 18, walked through an open door at the school carrying an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle at 11.33am - but officers did not enter the building until 12.50pm.

The response to the tragedy was branded an "abject failure" amid fury over a series of blunders by law enforcement officials.

A review by Texas State University found an armed policeman had an opportunity to shoot Ramos but missed his chance waiting for permission from a supervisor.

At a news conference the day after the shooting, Mr Abbott said he had been in the city of Abilene when he learned about the attack.

Abilene is around 220 miles (354km) northwest of Austin, while Huntsville is around 150 miles (240km) east of the Texas state capital.

When asked why he didn't cancel the fundraising event, the Texas governor said: "On the way back to Austin, I stopped and let people know that I could not stay, that I needed to go.

"And I wanted them to know what happened and get back to Austin so that I could continue my collaboration with Texas law enforcement to make sure that all the needs were being met here in the Uvalde area."

Mr Abbott's campaign spokeswoman, Renae Eze, told the Dallas Morning News he had been "forthright" about his movements on the day of the shooting.

He spoke to President Joe Biden, together with US Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, law enforcement and staff, throughout the afternoon and evening of 24 May, Ms Eze said.

"The day after the tragedy, the governor travelled to Uvalde and met with law enforcement an local officials," she added.

"The governor's description of his movements that day are accurate."

Mr Abbott praised the swift response by officers who "showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire".

But he was forced to make a U-turn on his remarks in the wake of mounting anger over the handling of the massacre.

Read more on the Uvalde school shooting:

"You can never ask a child or teacher to go back": Robb Elementary School to be demolished
Survivor's harrowing testimony: "He told my teacher 'goodnight' and shot her in the head"

Mr Abbott later said he was "livid" after claiming he had been "misled".

The campaign finance report suggests the fundraiser generated up to $50,000.

Mr Abbott will fight for his third term in office in November, with Democrat rival Beto O'Rourke hoping to unseat him to win control of the state.

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