The White House is declining to weigh in on reports that police were slow to respond to the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting — perhaps even keeping parents from running into the building to protect their children.
”We’ve been watching the reporting on this: The president has the utmost respect, as you all know, for the men and women of law enforcement,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at Thursday’s daily press briefing.
”I know that right now authorities are working to piece together more details of what happened in Uvalde, so we won’t prejudge the results from here at this time.”
On Sunday, President Joe Biden plans to visit Uvalde, where a school shooting left 19 children and two teachers dead.
The White House supports a thorough review of the police response, which reportedly kept the gunman in a classroom for around 40 minutes before he was fatally shot by U.S. Border Patrol special forces.
”It is always a good idea to look back and try to find any lessons we can learn, especially from tragedies like this,” Jean-Pierre said.
Some reports are questioning the adequacy of the police response and the school’s security.
The shooter, 18, reportedly walked into the school unobstructed through an unlocked door, despite claims that he shot someone trying to stop him before he entered the building, according to The Hill.
Also, police say the attacker was in the building for about an hour before officers entered the classroom he was barricaded in and killed him.
There are videos purportedly showing angry and frustrated parents yelling at police outside the school during the shooting, trying to get inside to protect their own children, according to the report.
”These were elementary school kids,” Jean-Pierre said. ”They should be losing their first teeth, not losing their lives.”