DENVER, (KDVR) – The Texas Department of Public Safety has admitted that mistakes were made in their response to the shooting at a Uvalde elementary school. 

At a press conference Friday, officials released a timeline showing officers waited more than an hour to break into the classroom where the suspected gunman was barricaded. 

“From the benefit of hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision,” Director Steve McCraw said on Tuesday. “It was the wrong decision. There’s no excuse for that.”

The decision to wait would have been commonplace 25 years ago, according to Colorado experts. 
But that is no longer the case.

“They just can’t sit back and wait, they have to try to do something,” Dr. James Ponzi said. “Every police department in the country should have been trained on this protocol by now.”

Ponzi is a former Denver Police Lieutenant, who was working for the department during Columbine.
He would later receive his doctorate after writing a 200-page dissertation focused on school shooting responses. 

“At that time, the protocol was you sit back and wait for the SWAT team when there’s an armed person inside a building, and you don’t go in,” he said. “That proved to be a death sentence for a lot of people in there.”

He said protocols were adjusted nationwide to a “first one there, first one in” doctrine. 

“Your primary number one duty at that particular time is to seek out the shooter and stop him in any way that you can,” Ponzi said.

“I don’t know if they were waiting for a SWAT team or waiting for an order to go in, it’s just not acceptable anymore,” he concluded. 

He said at this point, it’s unclear who is to blame. It’s possible responding officers were given an order to stay back and wait for help.