Initially, police lacked the ballistic shield needed to reach the shooter at the Texas school who was barricaded

Multiple law enforcement sources revealed to Breitbart Texas that part of the delay in apprehending the elementary school barricade shooter hinged on a deadly combination of the shooter’s defensive tactics and a lack of necessary equipment. Specifically, the officers lacked the ballistic shield necessary to enter the classroom with the shooter locked. Attempting to breach the door without a ballistic shield would have resulted in certain death for the officers, which could have provided the shooter with the officers’ weapons and ammunition. There is also the possibility that the shooter removed police communications equipment from the officers’ bodies, which gave the shooter the ability to listen in on police movements and plans.

A Border Patrol source with knowledge of the methods used by the hastily assembled team of law enforcement officers to confront the suspect described the difficulty agents face. The source, with decades of prior experience on Border Patrol’s elite BORTAC team, says the situation became much more difficult to resolve once the shooter barricaded himself in the classroom.

The source, who is not authorized to speak to the media, told Breitbart Texas that a barricaded subject is the most difficult tactical situation to resolve. In this case, the source says the shooter likely planned the attack days or weeks in advance, perhaps before purchasing two AR-15-style rifles and ammunition that he brought to school.

According to the source, officers at the scene who had been trained in advanced tactical procedures located a level IV ballistic shield. This tool allowed them to get close to the shooter without dying immediately. A United States Marshals Service employee procured the necessary ballistic shield that ultimately allowed the formed tactical team to quickly enter the building and reach the entrenched shooter.

Even with the shield, as Breitbart Texas reported, one of the Border Patrol agents who rushed the shooter suffered a gunshot wound to the head. The law enforcement team did not wait for personal protective equipment before acting.

Another Border Patrol agent was also in the makeshift tactical team and fired the shots that are believed to have stopped the suspect, the source confirmed.

“If the subject can effectively eliminate an officer, they get one more weapon, more loaded magazines, and police communications are instantly compromised, allowing the suspect to know what the next plan of attack is,” the source explained.

Breitbart Texas spoke with a local law enforcement official who also says that small town police departments don’t have access to this equipment due to funding issues. The officer says that he is appalled by the false premise that the officers on the scene were afraid to enter.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the ongoing investigation, told Breitbart Texas that an officer who was at the classroom window was unable to gain access and ultimately lost his son who was inside the room.

“Our officers had their own children in the building, one of whom died,” the officer stated. “We wanted to end this as badly as anyone else. To think that we would sit idly by and let children die by choice is inconceivable for our officers at this time during their time of mourning.”

The official says most law enforcement agencies in the area, including the Uvalde school police, are on edge. Training opportunities are expensive and unaffordable with the small budgets departments have access to.

He says the community also lacks sufficient mental health outreach and treatment facilities within the city. He hopes the shooting will spark discussions and material changes to reduce the likelihood of a repeat of the tragedy.

“The entire community is mourning the loss of these children and educators, and we need time to heal,” he said. “We will be closer to finding answers on how we can improve security sooner after this investigation is over.”

randy clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Before retiring, he served as Division Chief of Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio Sector, Texas. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

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