Matt Bush, FISM News
A committee of Texas lawmakers released a scathing 77-page report following an investigation into the police response to the school shooting at Robb Elementary School. The report detailed “systemic failures” and “poor decision-making” from those involved.
An 18-year-old gunman entered the school and fired more than 100 rounds before law enforcement arrived at the scene. Video and other gathered information show that the police did not rescue the injured victims until 73 minutes after the shooting took place.
In one of the report’s most eye-opening revelations released by Texas Public Radio, it revealed that “given the information known about victims who survived through the time of the breach and who later died on the way to the hospital, it is plausible that some victims could have survived if they had not had to wait 73 additional minutes for rescue.”
The report released Sunday was the most exhaustive and detailed account yet published of the events of that day. In another shocking development, the report revealed the delay in action happened even though a force of 376 law enforcement officers responded to the shooting, some of them as soon as three minutes after the gunman fired his initial shot.
The first mistake that law enforcement made, according to the report, was that they failed to quickly confront the shooter and retreated to safety to wait for backup. The report states, “They failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their safety.”
Though local law enforcement arrived on the scene first, shortly thereafter, other, better-trained agencies arrived. The report faults these agencies for not taking control of what was clearly a chaotic situation with a lack of real leadership.
“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 [Consolidated Independent School District] 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,” the reports states.
Of the 376 law enforcement officers who arrived on the scene, 149 were from U.S. Border Patrol and 91 were from the state police, making up the majority of those present. Officers from the Uvalde Police Department initially got to the rooms the shooter had entered.
The gunman shot at those Uvalde officers. After being grazed by bullet fragments, the officers retreated. They never fired back and one of them immediately left the building.
There were other, egregious errors made by law enforcement, but the lack of leadership by outside agencies and the lack of courage by the initial officers who arrived on the scene were the most prominent mistakes detailed in the report.
Other than law enforcement, the report also detailed several failures by other entities. The other entities include the Uvalde CISD, the shooter’s family, and social media platforms. The report states, “There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregious poor decision making.”
An NPR article describes Robb Elementary’s failures in this way: “Although Robb Elementary had safeguards and active shooter procedures in place, school staff had developed a culture of complacency around such measures. Out of convenience, some teachers frequently left doors unlocked or propped open — a violation of school policy. Due to a shortage of keys, substitute teachers were often told to circumvent locks.”
When the report was released on Sunday, family members of the victims were also able to see video footage of the events of that day from the bodycams of the police officers.
The video shows some officers taking action and pulling students out of the school and away from danger. It also shows more than 70 minutes of footage where 376 law enforcement officers arrived on the scene with a single, 18-year-old gunman sitting in a classroom while children and teachers were lying on the ground dying of gunshot wounds.