UVALDE, TX (CBSDFW.COM) — Emotions ran high in the Texas Capitol on Thursday as Jazmin Cazares told a joint House committee she was still in shock that her nine-year-old sister, Jacklyn, was shot inside the Robb elementary school in Uvalde.
“She was one of the sweetest souls. This morning around 5:30 p.m. I sat on my sister’s bed, and I cried, I cried, I cried. I shouldn’t have to being here right now. I should be at home watching a movie with my sister.”
Cazares urged lawmakers to improve perimeter fencing and security in elementary schools, as well as training for law enforcement, and to pass red flag laws. “I’m here begging you to do something.”
Suzanna Hupp survived the mass shooting at Luby’s Cafe in Killeen in October 1991, but her parents were killed.
She said she left her gun in her car that day, but would have used it had she had it with her.
Hupp is a former state official who opposes more gun restrictions. “I’m not a firearms enthusiast. I don’t care about that piece of metal right there, except I want that chance of that item changing the odds in what is now an increasingly common scenario.”
Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes said there are 257 public schools in the city and if his department were to place an officer on each campus, it would cost an additional $66.3 million a year. “ORS are an extremely valuable resource for schools. I believe they should stay. I believe we should increase their numbers where we can.”
He and other police chiefs have also pushed for better law enforcement training and information sharing between schools and police.
Texas Police Chiefs Association President Jimmy Perdue also had a message for Uvalde residents and all Texans. “I have to apologize and say I’m sorry.”
Without mentioning names, he criticized the on-scene commander, CISD Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo, and other officers for not confronting the shooter right away.
Perdue, who is also the North Richland Hills Police Chief, said: ‘The reality is they had guns inside, they had shields inside, they had multiple agencies inside What happened at Uvalde was a commitment issue, not an equipment issue.”
Arredondo was put on leave by the CISD of Uvalde.
When questioned by lawmakers, Chief Perdue said his association supports sensible reforms such as raising the minimum age to purchase an assault rifle to 21 and passing a state law banning assault rifles. straw firearm purchases.
He also reminded lawmakers that if police take people into custody, the law already allows them to seize their firearms.