Alfred Garza, the father of 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza, told CNN Friday that while nothing can bring his daughter back after the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, he believes someone should be held accountable over the police response — in particular regarding the time it took officers to engage with the gunman.
During a Friday news conference, Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steven McCraw said the school district police chief's decision to not have officers immediately try to breach the classroom and engage the gunman was "wrong."
The chief, serving as incident commander during the shooting, thought officers were dealing with a barricaded subject and not an active shooter at the time, McCraw said.
Speaking to CNN’s Jason Carroll, Garza said he wondered if his daughter and others may have survived if authorities had acted sooner.
"They should have acted more promptly," Garza said. "Time is of essence with stuff like that … they should have just acted quicker. And that's it. And that's the bottom line."
“By the time the cops got there, it was already too late, you know, so they needed to act immediately,” Garza told CNN.
Garza said he he understands the anger some parents are feeling in the aftermath of shooting, and called for accountability and "consequences."
"We need to make sure that, from this point on, that something like this does not happen again, or that we are better prepared,” he said.
"The circumstances around this event, I mean it’s bad, right? I mean, people literally died. My daughter died, and I feel just as bad for everybody else," he continued. "Somebody needs to be held responsible."
Garza said he’s been told his daughter may have been one of those who tried to call 911 from the classroom in which the gunman had locked himself in. Authorities have said there were at least two calls to 911 from children during the deadly shooting.
Yesterday, CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed Amerie's stepfather, med aide Angel Garza, who described how he learned about the death of the 10-year-old as he arrived to the school during the shooting to help.
"One little girl was just covered in blood head to toe. I thought she was injured, I asked her what was wrong. She said she was OK — she was hysterical, saying that they shot her best friend, that they killed her best friend, she was not breathing," Garza told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday.
"I asked the little girl the name, and ... she said Amerie," he said, dropping his head and weeping.