A Texas Department of Public Safety official sparked outrage online after seemingly implying he would not be able to hug his children that night due to the investigation into the mass shooting at a Uvalde elementary school.
The comment, made during a news conference Thursday by Victor Escalon, regional director for the South Texas Department of Public Safety, quickly went viral on social media.
“I am a father. I can’t go home tonight and hug my kids. It hurts,” Escalon said. “The members behind me – our family members. Their children. It’s tough. It is difficult.”
The comment was seen by many as insensitive given how many parents were affected by the tragedy, which saw an 18-year-old shoot dead at least 19 students and two adults.
“You compared not being able to hug your kids tonight to people who can never hug their kids again, period?” asked a Twitter user. “Of people who have to bury their children? Of people who have gone through the most traumatic thing?”
The Daily Dot contacted the Texas Department of Security to inquire about Escalon’s testimony, but had received no response as of press time.
The remark was particularly disturbing given reports that law enforcement waited over 40 minutes outside the school when parents asked them to intervene. Parents trying to reach their children have been held back and held back.
“Not being able to go home and hug your kids isn’t the same as NEVER being able to hug your kid again,” said another user. “They really don’t care.”
Even more worryingly, police also appeared to admit that some officers entered the school to have their own children.
“It’s not very explicit, but it sounds like Lt. Texas DPS spokesman Chris Olivarez confirms that during the shooting, officers entered the school to rescue their own children, while police held families back and refused to go outside,” New York Times investigator Evan Hill wrote.
Initial claims that an armed security guard who had dealings with the gunman before he entered the school were also repatriated on Thursday. The first officers on the scene retreated immediately after being fired upon by the gunman.
Since then, investigations have been carried out into how law enforcement handled the situation and whether lives could have been saved.
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*Initial publication: May 26, 2022 4:43 pm CDT
Mikael Thalen is a Seattle-based tech and security reporter covering social media, data breaches, hackers and more.
https://www.dailydot.com/debug/victor-escalon-uvalde-shooting-police-response/ Official sparks outrage after claiming Uvalde kept him away from his child