Texas House Committee Releases Uvalde Shooting Report, Criticizes ‘Lackadaisical Approach’ from Law Enforcement
A Texas House committee investigating the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, released a preliminary report on Sunday. According to national news, one of the report’s main findings is that “There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregious poor decision-making.” It also makes note of “an overall lackadaisical approach” by law enforcement authorities who responded to the scene, as well as details failures by the Uvalde school system, social media platforms and the shooter’s family, according to CNN.
The 77-page report was provided to the victims’ families on Sunday morning. It is a self-described “interim report,” with multiple investigations underway and many questions unresolved. However, it is the first government report to offer a comprehensive look at both the shooting and law enforcement’s response.
The report notes that about 376 law enforcement officers gathered at the school, including about 150 U.S. Border Patrol agents and 91 state police officials. “At Robb Elementary, law enforcement responders failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving innocent lives over their own safety,” said the report. According to the committee, the assembled group of federal, state and local officers lacked elements including clear leadership, basic communication and the sense of urgency required in an active shooter situation.
AP News reports that the shooter fired about 142 rounds inside the building, at least 100 of which it is “almost certain” were fired before law enforcement arrived. The report detailed a breakdown of law enforcement response, including no one assuming command, lack of communication among responding officers and agents spending time on tasks like searching for a master key to the classroom and waiting for a bullet-proof shield.
The report also discusses failures in the district’s safeguards and active shooter procedures. NPR reports that teachers would leave doors unlocked or propped open, and that substitute teachers were told to circumvent locks during a key shortage. The school’s “intruder alert” system also frequently went off in relation to fleeing human traffickers in the area, desensitizing teachers to the alarm itself.
The report also revealed that the gunman opened fire in his own fourth-grade classroom. The shooter attended Robb Elementary in Room 111, one of two conjoined classrooms where the attack took place.