AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he has stopped campaign fundraising after the fatal …
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he stopped by a fundraiser after the deadly Uwald school shooting and “let people know” he couldn’t stay, but a newspaper reported he was there for nearly three hours .
The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday that campaign finance reports and flight records show Abbott arrived in Huntsville at 4:52 p.m. on May 24 — hours after the shooting at Robb Elementary School — and was then driven about 2 miles (3 kilometers). to the home of a local fan. He did not leave the city until 19.47
The 18-year-old shooter entered the school at 11:33 a.m. that day, but it wasn’t until 12:50 a.m. that law enforcement burst into the classroom where he was hiding and killed him. Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steve McCraw called law enforcement’s slow and chaotic response to the shooting a “gross failure.”
McCraw said that three minutes after the gunman entered the school, enough officers and firepower were deployed to stop him. Nineteen students and two teachers were killed in the attack.
When Abbott was asked at a news conference in Uwald the day after the shooting why he didn’t cancel the fundraiser, he noted that he was in Abilene when he learned of the attack.
“On the way back to Austin, I stopped and let people know I couldn’t stay, I had to go,” Abbott said. “And I wanted them to know what happened and come back to Austin so that I could continue to work with Texas law enforcement to make sure that all the needs are being met here in the Uvalde area.”
Abilene, where Abbott gave a news conference about the wildfires, is about 220 miles (354 kilometers) northwest of Austin, and Huntsville is about 150 miles (240 kilometers) east of the state capital.
Abbott’s campaign spokeswoman, Renee Eze, told the newspaper that Abbott was open about his travels that day. She said that on the afternoon and evening of May 24, Abbott spoke with President Joe Biden, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, law enforcement officials and staff.
“The day after the tragedy, the governor traveled to Uvalde and met with law enforcement and local officials,” she said. “The governor’s description of his movements that day is accurate.”
The day after the shooting, Abbott praised what he said was the quick response of law enforcement officers, who “showed amazing courage in going into the shooting.” He later said he had been “misled” and was “angry” about it.
According to a campaign finance report, Abbott may have raised up to $50,000 at a Huntsville fundraiser, the newspaper reported.
Abbott, a Republican, will face Democratic challenger Beth O’Rourke in November.
For more AP information on the Uvalde school shooting: https://apnews.com/hub/uvalde-school-shooting
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