The Lake County sheriff said that his deputies have the “full authority” to move into an active shooter scene after questions have arisen from the police response to the Texas school shooting that left 19 children dead.
Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said in the statement issued Friday that the sheriff’s office has received many questions recently about how they would respond to an active shooter situation.
Idleburg said that deputies have the full authority to move immediately into the scene and utilize their training “to do what is necessary.”
“We want the community to know that during an active threat, our deputies are trained to immediately respond to the threat and take whatever actions are necessary to protect life,” he said.
“They train frequently, have the tools necessary to enter buildings in order to protect life, and understand their tremendous responsibility,” Idleburg added.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office also offers best practice and mitigation training to all schools and businesses in Lake County that wish to be trained.
“This is something we don’t take lightly and we have an entire unit dedicated to this,” Idleburg said.
“Please continue keeping Uvalde in your thoughts and prayers. We’re here for you, Lake County,” he said.
The shooting in Uvalde, Texas, happened at Robb Elementary School Tuesday morning.
An 18-year-old man, who was armed with two guns, entered the school and opened fire after crashing his car nearby.
At least 19 children and two teachers died, police said.
AP News reported that authorities acknowledged that students and teachers “repeatedly begged” 911 operators for help while the town’s police chief told more than a dozen officers to wait in a hallway at the school.
The gunman entered the school around 11:33 a.m. and was not shot and killed by police until 12:50 p.m. when officers entered the classroom, according to a timeline by CNN.
Multiple police officers were shot after exchanging gunfire with the suspect.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said he was “outraged, devastated, and utterly exhausted” for the families of Robb Elementary School.
“As we grieve with the Uvalde community, we must continue our work toward ending the gun violence epidemic in our country. We must do it now. No more prayers without action,” Pritzker said.
“For the second time in just a few days, I am grieving with a community that has lost their sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters due to senseless gun violence,” Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said.
“For the second time in just a few days, I once again state firmly and strongly that thoughts and prayers are not – and have never been – enough to stem the epidemic of gun violence that has gripped our country,” Rinehart said.
“Everyone deserves to be safe in their community, and once again, our society has failed the 14 children and 1 teacher murdered in Texas today. Their loved ones should not be screaming into the void, they should be comforted by action,” he added.
Rinehart called for legislation at the federal level to “stop this once and for all.”