Many questions remain regarding how the Uvalde police handled the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 21 people – 19 children and two adults dead. A mother had to go in herself and rescue her two sons as police waited an hour for backup. In a special session, Texas state lawmakers stated they would launch an investigation into what went wrong with the response that would be ‘thorough and nonpartisan,’ ABC News reports.
“It is our goal to conduct a thorough, objective and nonpartisan examination ... so that we, as a chamber, may move forward in determining the best possible solutions to prevent something like this from ever occurring again,” Texas state Rep. Dustin Burrows, chairman of the committee investigating the shooting, said in an opening statement.
This is separate from the Justice Department’s investigation that was recently announced. Rep. Dustin Burrows also states law enforcement officials are expected to testify in the coming weeks.
“The committee may produce a preliminary report in order to accommodate the need to have some information out to the public before a full and thorough investigation has taken place and we will do our best to keep everyone apprised of that timeline, as we know it,” he said. “I want to assure those watching that answers and solutions will come — and we will work as quickly as possible to get to that point.”
The House and Senate are working to pass various iterations of gun safety reform. Texas state Rep. Joe Moody added, “We can’t let mass shootings, especially in our schools, be normalized. I was in high school when Columbine happened. And it was shocking because it was unheard of at the time.” Moody also went on to start how important the committee is.
“Failing to tackle these issues because they’re difficult or politically uncomfortable is cowardly and morally wrong,” Moody said. “We have a duty to do what we can because our children’s lives are on the line. That’s why this committee is so important. When the issues are this complex and the stakes are this high, we need facts first. ... We have to cut through the noise and the partisanship and deliver the truth. Only then can we make the informed policy decisions that are urgently needed.”
One of the aspects the committee needs to look into is a Texas gun law where the purchasing age was lowered from 21 to 18. The shooter purchased two rifles on his 18th birthday, and one was used in the elementary school shooting.