The Texas House Committee released their findings from the investigative report into the Uvalde, Texas school shooting. According to the report, about 376 officers arrived at the scene but lacked basic communication and urgency to take down the shooter.
In the chilling, detailed report of the events that occurred before and the day of the Robb Elementary School shooting, the Uvalde police were revealed to have failed in their response. Though we already figured this was the case, the report outlined exactly what went wrong.
The officer to arrive first on the property was supposed to take command over the incident. That officer, Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo, didn’t consider himself in command, the report says. Next, the officers did not assume command for their active shooter protocol, which was outlined in the report.
The task was to “stop the killing” as soon as possible and there was no effective communication (verbal or technological) to make a decision on how.
More on law enforcement from the report:
At Robb Elementary, law enforcement responders failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety.
Uvalde CISD and its police department failed to implement their active shooter plan and failed to exercise command and control of law enforcement responding to the tragedy. But these local officials were not the only ones expected to supply the leadership needed during this tragedy.
Hundreds of responders from numerous law enforcement agencies—many of whom were better trained and better equipped than the school district police—quickly arrived on the scene. Those other responders, who also had received training on active shooter response and the interrelation of law enforcement agencies, could have helped to address the unfolding chaos.
Yet in this crisis, no responder seized the initiative to establish an incident command post. Despite an obvious atmosphere of chaos, the ranking officers of other responding agencies did not approach the Uvalde CISD chief of police or anyone else perceived to be in command to point out the lack of and need for a command post, or to offer that specific assistance.
In addition to the law enforcement response, the report included gritty details about the shooter’s life and the way he crafted his plan. After having a fall out with his mother, Salvador Ramos was relocated to live with his grandmother just a few blocks away from Robb Elementary. Per the report, Ramos turned 18 years old May 16 and purchased loads of guns and ammunition a week before the shooting.
The report says he solicited information from his cousin’s son, a student at the school, about his schedule and lunch periods while playing Roblox. He even texted a friend the day of with live updates about his plan of action. “I just shot my grandma in her head. Ima go shoot up a elementary school rn.” read the messages. Though Ramos had no criminal history, the people around him saw the warning signs and didn’t report them.
Police Chief Arredondo has since resigned from the department. Rep. Burrows said the “multiple systemic failures” were reflection of not only Uvalde but across the country, per NPR.