‘I am Absolutely Livid’: Abbott Addresses Misinformation Shared After Uvalde Shooting


FORT WORTH, Texas — When Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shared inaccurate information on the timeline of events in the Tuesday attack on Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, he was reciting information given to him by law enforcement, he said at a Friday news conference.

“I was misled. I am livid about what happened,” Abbott said Friday in Uvalde. “I was telling the public information that had been told to me in a room just a few yards behind where we’re located right now. I wrote down hand notes in detail about what everyone in that room told me in sequential order about what happened. ... I am absolutely livid about that.”

He promised that investigations would dig into every decision that was made in the response to the school shooting.

“There will be ongoing investigations that will show who knew what when, who was in charge of what strategy, why was that particular strategy employed, why were other strategies not employed,” Abbott said. “The bottom line will be why didn’t they choose the strategy that would have been best to get in there and to eliminate the killer and to rescue the children.”

A lone gunman went into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, west of San Antonio, Tuesday morning, armed with a rifle, and killed 19 students and two teachers. He also shot his grandmother in the head at their home before going to the school. She was taken to a hospital in San Antonio and is now in stable condition.

Abbott on Tuesday praised the response of law enforcement, saying the situation could have been much worse if it weren’t for their actions.

But, in the hours and days since, information has come out that shows the response from law enforcement was slower than the public was initially told and that first responders did not act with the urgency that should be expected with an active shooter in a school. Parents have said they urged and begged officers who were outside the school to go inside and end the shooting.

One video posted on Twitter shows parents screaming and crying as they beg law enforcement to “do something.” The video shows them trying to push past officers standing outside the school, outside a line of police tape.

“We’re taking care of it,” someone who appears to be law enforcement says in the video.

Abbott and law enforcement leaders have faced criticism not only for the way first responders handled the shooting, but also for the misinformation that was shared suggesting police acted swiftly to end it. The timeline of the shooting and police response is unclear, with agencies contradicting themselves and each other in separate statements.

Abbott said he expects the Texas Rangers and FBI, running investigations into what happened and where misinformation came from, will get to the bottom of the actual sequence of events Tuesday and share with the public where the misinformation came from.

“There are people who deserve answers the most, and those are the families whose lives have been destroyed,” Abbott said. “They need answers that are accurate. And it is inexcusable that they may have suffered from any inaccurate information, whatsoever.”

Abbott did not say when the public could expect answers to questions about the timeline of events or why and how false information was given to the governor and, subsequently, the public.

He said his top priority is getting that information to the families of the victims.

“My expectation is that as we speak in every minute going forward, law enforcement is going to earn the trust of the public by doing exactly what they’re supposed to do from this point on, and that is making sure that they thoroughly investigation exactly what happened and explain to you, the public and the victims of the crime, exactly what happened,” Abbott said Friday.

“Every act by every official involved in this entire process is under the investigation conducted both by the Texas Rangers and the FBI. Every act of all of those officials will be known and identified and explained to the public.”