Texas senators' investigation into the Uvalde school shooting revealed that several mistakes made by hundreds of heavily armed law enforcement personnel led to a postponed encounter with the shooter that might have resulted in casualties.
According to the preliminary findings of a committee of the Texas House of Representatives, 376 officers from local, state, and federal agencies swarmed to the Robb Elementary shooting in May, but none assumed control of the chaotic scene, effectively leaving the inexperienced local school district police department to direct the response.
Two teachers and 19 fourth-graders perished. More than an hour after police arrived, the 18-year-old gunman, Salvador Ramos, was eventually engaged and killed by a group of Border Patrol agents, according to the report.
Officers "failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their personal safety," according to the 77-page report's conclusion. "These local officials were not the only ones expected to provide the leadership required during this catastrophe. Numerous law enforcement organizations sent hundreds of responders, many of whom were better trained and equipped than the school district police, to the scene swiftly, according to the review.
Robb Elementary and Uvalde were not ready for an attack, according to state representative Dustin Burrows, the committee's chairman, who stated this during a press conference on Sunday. If they can't foresee a mass shooting occurring in their community, he said, he believes that other communities across the state and country have mechanisms in place that may fail in a similar manner.
State Representative Joe Moody stated, "We want to tell ourselves that the system works. "We try to convince ourselves that there is one person we can blame. We want to assure ourselves that this won't occur once more. That's just not accurate. Uvalde Police were the first to arrive at the scene of the shooter's automobile collision and bullets were fired, thus one of them ought to have been designated incident commander.
Once school police chief Pete Arredondo arrived, he would have been a natural person to assume command, but he didn’t consider himself the commander, he told the committee.
“You can always hope and pray that there’s an incident command post outside,” the report quotes Mr. Arredondo as testifying. “I just didn’t have access to that. I didn’t know anything about that.”
Lt. Mariano Pargas, the acting police chief on that particular day, was placed on administrative leave, according to Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, who made the announcement after the report was made public. According to the mayor, the city is using an impartial investigator to determine if Mr. Pargas should have assumed command on the day of the shooting or made any attempts to do so.
Every agency that was present at Robb Elementary that day needs to commit to following the same procedure, which entails looking at the decisions made by the highest-ranking authorities that day.
At a news conference that followed in the afternoon, a number of community members vented their rage about the report's incomplete translation into Spanish. At the news conference, numerous audience members from the community began shouting, and the committee members promised to act immediately to offer a translation.
In the past, Mr. Arredondo, who authorities claimed to be the incident commander, was mostly to blame for law enforcement inaction, according to Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety. In response to the locals being blamed, Mr. McLaughlin and other local leaders reacted angrily and asserted that DPS was attempting to divert attention from its own involvement in the incident.
The House committee found that 149 Border Patrol personnel and roughly 100 state police troopers could have, and perhaps should have, taken command of the situation.
The committee discovered that school administrators had broken security protocols by failing to secure three outdoor doors in addition to law enforcement mistakes.
Before the room was invaded, the security footage reveals officers from various police agencies wandering around in the hallways for more than an hour.
The booklet is dedicated to the victims and opens with brief tributes to each. Texas lawmakers stated that they were releasing interim conclusions because "the victims, their families, and the whole Uvalde community have already waited too long for answers and openness."