• A door-breaching tool was available to officers at the Uvalde shooting, the Texas Tribune reported.
  • But officers waited for keys to a door adjacent to the room the gunman was in, per the report.
  • It's not immediately clear why the forcible-entry tool wasn't used by the officers.

The officers who responded to the May 24 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, had a forcible-entry tool but instead waited over an hour for keys to open a room adjacent to the one the shooter was in, according to the Texas Tribune.

An officer who arrived early into the attack told a dispatcher that they had a Halligan — a door-breaching tool used by firefighters — at their disposal, reported the Tribune's Terri Langford, who cited footage and body camera transcripts of the assault.

When the dispatcher asked if the door was locked, the officer said they did not know, according to the Tribune.

The Halligan bar was brought into the school around 54 minutes after the initial conversation with the dispatcher, but it still wasn't used, per the outlet. It's not immediately clear why the officers didn't use the tool, or how many of them knew the Halligan was available for use.

School district Police Chief Pete Arredondo told the Tribune on June 9 that he tried opening the door to the classroom the gunman was in, but that it was locked. He told the outlet that the door was barricaded and couldn't be kicked in.

After reviewing the new footage and transcripts, the Tribune said it observed no instances where Arredondo tried to open the door.

Arredondo also told the Tribune on June 9 that no breaching tool arrived even though he called for one, contradicting the outlet's latest report that a Halligan was onsite.

Instead of using the Halligan, officers waited for keys to a room connected to the classroom the gunman was in — Arredondo said he had tried over 26 keys — and took down the shooter 77 minutes after the attack began, per the Tribune.

The outlet also reported that the shooter entered the classroom, started firing, then walked out of the classroom before going back in, and didn't appear to encounter the locked door. The footage has prompted some authorities to question if the doors were locked, and if the keys were needed.

The shooting at Robb Elementary School, in which two teachers and 19 children were killed, was the deadliest elementary school shooting in the US since the 2012 attack at Sandy Hook.

Arredondo's lawyer, George E. Hyde, did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

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