A Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) captain is under investigation after allegedly delaying a law enforcement team from entering the classrooms at Robb Elementary School, where 19 students and two teachers were killed during the May 24 mass shooting in Uvalde, according to a report from CNN.
DPS Capt. Joel Betancourt reportedly told a strike team to hold off on breaching the classrooms more than 70 minutes into the attack, according to an audio recording obtained by CNN.
The CNN report said the 15-year veteran of DPS believed a more highly skilled team was on its way.
“Hey, this is DPS Captain Betancourt. The team that’s going to make breach needs to stand by. The team that’s gonna breach needs to stand by,” he ordered at 12:48 p.m., according to the audio from a police radio broadcast captured on multiple officers’ body-worn cameras.
The report also said that memos reviewed by CNN and the audio evidence contradict the original DPS claim that none of its officers were ever in control or issuing orders.
A total of 91 DPS troopers responded to Robb Elementary after reports of an active shooter situation.
Capt. Betancourt is one of at least seven current and former DPS officers placed under investigation by the DPS Inspector General for their response to the shooting. DPS has not officially released the names or information about its officers under investigation.
Meanwhile, former Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo was fired in August.
Capt. Betancourt reportedly told investigators he arrived at Robb Elementary at about 12:45 p.m. The teenage gunman was killed by a tactical team minutes later, just after 12:50 p.m.
Law enforcement’s actions on the day of the shooting have been widely criticized, with DPS director Steven McCraw calling the shooting response “an abject failure.”
McCraw previously said during the time law enforcement was waiting to breach the classrooms; children called 911 at least twice to plead for police to be sent.