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Father Who Lost Son In Uvalde Shooting Slams ‘Cowardly’ Police After New Images Show Delayed Response

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officers armed inside uvalde school, robb elementary school

A father who lost his 10-year-old son in the Uvalde school shooting is speaking out after new images show police had the firepower to confront the shooter long before they eventually did.

Jose Flores Sr., whose son, Jose Flores Jr., was among the 19 children killed by an 18-year-old gunman on May 24, spoke to CNN about the new reports, calling the officers "cowards" for not going into the elementary school sooner.

"I feel anger," Flores said when asked about the photos of the armed officers outside of Robb Elementary School. "They let our kids down, left them in there scared and, who knows, crying. They abandoned them."

New footage reveals Uvalde officers had more firepower than previously believed.

On June 20, the Austin American-Statesmen and KVUE obtained new footage that shows several officers armed with rifles and at least one ballistic shield inside the school 19 minutes after the gunman entered.

RELATED: 11-Year-Old Uvalde Survivor Suffers Cardiac Arrest While Visiting Grave Of Friend Who Saved Her From Bullies

According to the footage, those officers waited nearly another hour to enter the classroom where the suspect had barricaded himself, even as children were begging for help.

"They were supposed to be trained professionals," Flores continued. "I don't understand the reason why they stood back that long. Somebody has to pay for it."

The new revelation continues to cast further criticism on the law-enforcement response to the shooting. 

Both local and state police have come under scrutiny for the slow response, with officers waiting 70 minutes before they eventually confronted the gunman, as well as authorities constantly changing their stories of the aftermath of the shooting.

According to the footage reviewed by KVUE, 11 officers walked inside the elementary school within three minutes of the suspect's entry, who had walked into a classroom and began shooting around 11:33 a.m.

After officers entered the school, the gunman opened fire on them, prompting them to run toward either end of the hallway.

RELATED: Uvalde Students Who Texted 'I Love You' To Each Other Will Be Buried Side By Side

At least two of the 11 responding officers inside the school were carrying rifles, but when Police Chief Pete Arredondo spoke to the dispatcher, he said the officers didn't have enough firepower to confront the gunman.

On June 21, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety on Tuesday slammed the response of law enforcement, calling it an "abject failure." Much of his criticism fell on Arredondo.

"There is compelling evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary was an abject failure and antithetical to everything we've learned over the last two decades since the Columbine massacre," Col. Steven McCraw told the Texas Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans.

Arredondo had previously told the Texas Tribune that he did not consider himself the incident commander that day.

However, at least one of the officers at the scene expressed the belief that Arredondo was leading law enforcement response inside the school, telling other officers, "The chief is in charge."

"Standing back a whole hour, leaving them inside with that gunman, is not right. It's cowardly, cowardly, cowardly stuff," Flores concluded.

RELATED: Texas Teacher Shares Video Of Lengths She Goes To Keep Students Safe In Video After Uvalde Shooting

Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.

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