Houston, TX – Houston PD Chief Art Acevedo appeared on CBS News’ “Face The Nation” Sunday to call for the ousting of politicians who don’t pass gun control legislation following the Santa Fe High School shooting.
“Well, let me tell you, people at the state level and the federal level in too many places in our country are not doing anything other than offering prayers,” Chief Acevedo told CBS News.
“We need to start using the ballot box and ballot initiatives to take the matters out of the hands of people that are doing nothing that are elected into the hands of the people to see that the will of the people in this country is actually carried out,” he continued.
“I think that the American people, gun owners — the vast majority of which are pragmatic and actually support gun sense and gun reform in terms of keeping guns in the right hands,” Chief Acevedo declared to CBS News.
It’s not clear how far Chief Acevedo wants the gun control laws to go. None of the recent “assault rifle” and high capacity magazine bans would have prevented the Santa Fe shooting.
The gunman used a pump action shotgun and .38 revolver that he took from his father to murder 10 people and wound 10 more. He had no prior criminal history.
It’s not clear if his father knew that the weapons were taken.
The only specifics that the chief offered during the interview was to hold people accountable for failing to secure their guns.
“I believe that anyone that owns a firearm that doesn’t secure it properly [and it] ends up in the wrong hands and used to kill innocent people, that that should carry some significant consequences. We need to think about that on the national level across this country,” Chief Acevedo concluded.
In the same interview, he praised the officers who engaged the shooter in a gunfight, which led to his surrender.
“You know, that’s part of the ongoing investigation as to what the, what we can do better, but we know one thing: if it wasn’t for those officers that ran towards the gunfire, for John and his assistant chief and others that actually discharged their firearms and returned fire leading to the suspect surrendering, who knows what the casualty count would have been? But they are heroes,” Chief Acevedo said.
Retired Houston Police Officer John Barnes, who went on to work as an officer at Santa Fe ISD PD, was first to engage the shooter in a gunfight.
Officer Barnes, 49, sustained a gunshot wound to the upper arm, which caused a severe injury to a major blood vessel, and shattered bones in his elbow.
The officer lost a significant amount of blood at the scene, and was transported to the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) by air ambulance in critical condition.
Despite armed officers stopping the shooting, in February Chief Acevedo rejected the idea of arming teachers, who would have already been on scene.
“I don’t believe that’s the answer. Before we take that step, we need to find ways to take guns out of schools,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said, according to Houston Chronicle. “Allowing guns inside of schools creates a dangerous situation. Do we really want to see cases of a teacher’s gun discharging and hitting a student? Even highly trained officers are not (immune) to discharges.”
According to a new report released by the FBI, citizens successfully intervened in eight active shooter incidents in 2016 and 2017.
The FBI report says that the citizens “safely and successfully” ended the shooting by confronting the shooters.
“Their selfless actions likely saved many lives,” the report stated.
In four of the eight incidents, unarmed citizens confronted the shooter.
In the other four incidents, citizens legally carrying firearms stopped the shooter. In two of those incidents the citizens exchanged gunfire with the shooter. In the other two incidents, the armed citizens held the shooter at gunpoint until the police arrived.