A former police chief is criticizing Uvalde police officers' delayed response to a shooting spree at an elementary school that killed 21 on Tuesday.
Former DeKalb County, Georgia, Police Chief Cedric Alexander said the officers’ purpose is to move gunfire away from victims, which included 19 children and two teachers.
"Officers on that scene who arrive first, you go inside that building, you follow that gunfire, and the whole intention is here, is to move that gunfire away from the innocent victims who are innocent and defenseless," Alexander said during a "Meet the Press" panel with Chuck Todd Sunday.
"You move that gunfire toward you."
His comments follow the revelation that officers arrived on scene but waited for backup to enter the school — even while parents and onlookers begged them to enter.
It was revealed in a press conference last week that 19 officers were stationed in the hallway of the school for over an hour before the shooter was killed.
Alexander said there’s an opportunity to win the gun battle and there’s no other option.
"There’s nothing else to talk about."
That's the response expected of officers based on their years of training, the former chief said. And this goes for all officers — from the chief to the most recent hire.
"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 said.
The shooter, 18-year old Salvador Ramos, was eventually killed by an elite group of federal border agents.
The border agents immediately wanted to enter the school upon arriving at the scene, but were held back by the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police chief for 30 minutes.
Further reports revealed the officers failed to follow their active shooter response training, which emphasized quick response time.
"The short duration and high casualty rates produced by these events require immediate response to reduce the loss of life," reads internal training documents.
"In many cases that immediate response means a single (solo) officer response until such a time as other forces can arrive."