New report details missed opportunities to stop Uvalde school shooting

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A police officer with a rifle watched the Uvalde school massacre shooter walk towards campus but did not fire while waiting for a supervisor’s clearance to shoot, according to a radical criticism of the tactical response to the May Massacre.

Some of Robb Elementary School’s 21 victims, including 19 children, ‘could have been saved’ on May 24 if they had received medical treatment sooner as police waited more than an hour to break into the classroom. fourth year, a review by a training center at Texas State University for found active shooter situations.

The report is another damning assessment of how police failed to act on opportunities that could have saved lives in what has become the deadliest school shooting in the United States since the massacre of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

“A reasonable officer would have considered this to be an active situation and would have devised a plan to deal with the suspect,” reads the report released by the Advanced Rapid Response Training program for the application. university law.

The authors of the 26-page report said their findings were based on videos taken at the school, police body cameras, testimony from officers at the scene and statements from investigators.

Among their discoveries:

“It seems that no officer waiting in the hallway during the shooting ever checked to see if the classroom door was locked. The Texas State Police Agency chief also blamed officers at the scene for not checking the doors.

— Officers had “weapons (including rifles), body armor (which may or may not have been rated to stop shotgun shells), training and reinforcements. The victims in the classrooms had none of that.

– When officers finally entered the classroom at 12:50 p.m. – more than an hour after the shooting began – they were no better equipped to deal with the shooter than they had been until then.

— “Effective incident command” never appears to have been established among the multiple law enforcement agencies that responded to the shooting.

The report follows testimony last month in which Colonel Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told the state Senate that the police response was a “dismal failure.”

He blamed Chief Pete Arredondo in particular, saying that as the on-scene commander, the Uvalde Schools Police Chief made “terrible decisions” and stopped officers from confronting the shooter sooner.

Mr. Arredondo tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he did not consider himself the commander in charge of operations and that he assumed that someone else had taken control of the response of the forces of order.

He said he didn’t have his police and campus radios, but used his cell phone to call tactical gear, a sniper and keys to the classroom.

According to the report released Wednesday, Arredondo and another Uvalde police officer spent 13 minutes in the school hallway during the shooting discussing tactical options, the use of snipers and how to enter the class windows.

“They also discussed who has the keys, key tests, the likelihood of the door being locked, and whether the children and teachers are dying or dead,” the report said.

Mr McCraw said police had enough officers and firepower at the scene of the Uvalde school massacre to have arrested the gunman three minutes after he entered the building, and they would have found the door from the classroom where he was locked unlocked if they had bothered to check on him.

A lawyer for Mr. Arredondo and a spokeswoman for the Uvalde City Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr Arredondo is on furlough from his job with the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and resigned as a councilman last week.

Public leaders, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott, initially praised the police response to Uvalde. Mr Abbott said officers reacted quickly and ran towards the gunfire with ‘incredible courage’ to take out the killer, saving lives. He later said he had been misled.

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