A 77-page report by a special committee of the Texas House of Representatives concluded that no one was able to stop the gunman from carrying out the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, in part because of “systemic failures and egregious poor decision making” by nearly everyone involved who was in a position of power.
376 law enforcement officers descended on the school in a chaotic, uncoordinated scene devoid of clear leadership and a sense of urgency to take down the gunman, according to the report.
It is the most exhaustive account to date of what happened and was released on Sunday, July 17, 2022.
It found that the mass killer had been dubbed “school shooter” on social media a year before the massacre because of his violent threats against others.
The high school dropout and social outcast consumed gore and violent sex online. He sometimes shared videos and images of suicides and beheadings.
In real life, he was fired from two fast-food jobs for harassing a female coworker at one and refusing to speak to coworkers at the other.
He spent more than $3,000 on two AR-15-style rifles and accessories when he turned 18 years of age, two weeks before he attacked the school. The massacre was the first time that he had ever handled a firearm.
The committee found that the killer took advantage of a culture of complacency about school security. Doors were routinely left unlocked and propped open. Teachers had become desensitized to false alarms and did not quickly react to a lockdown alert.
The report suggests that stopping the gunman sooner could have made a difference.
“Given the information known about victims who survived through the time of the breach and who later died on the way to the hospital,” the committee wrote, “it is plausible that some victims could have survived if they had not had to wait 73 additional minutes for rescue.”
The critical report underscores the indecisive and disorganized police response recorded on the school’s security cameras.
Images of police standing around waiting for more than an hour while twenty-one wounded Uvalde, Texas students, and teachers needed medical aid drew outrage across the United States.
All 21 victims, two teachers, and their fourth-grade students died at the hands of an 18-year-old mass killer.
Security camera footage from inside the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, records the sound of repeated bursts of gunfire from the killer’s assault rifle for two and half minutes.
Three officers arrived and advanced down a colorful school hallway toward the classrooms within three minutes.
But when the gunman opened fire through the classroom door, the officers frantically retreated.
Heavily armed officers with shields congregated at the end of the corridor, where they waited to confront the killer for excruciatingly 77 minutes.
At one point, an officer paused to squirt hand sanitizer into his hands and rubs his palms together.
The security camera footage underscores a painfully slow response that contradicts everything the FBI has taught U.S. law enforcement since the Columbine Colorado High School massacre occurred 23 years ago in April 1999.
Katherine Schweit, the former FBI agent and executive who established the Bureau’s active shooting training program, emphasizes that even if an officer responds alone, they are supposed to go in harm’s way to neutralize the gunman to stop the carnage.
After reviewing the security camera footage, Schweit concluded that indecision and a lack of leadership turned a bad situation into a catastrophe.
An editorial in the New York Post ran a headline denouncing the slow response, “Video proves Uvalde was the greatest act of cowardice in modern American history.”
Investigative Reporter Robert Riggs interviewed Schweit about the shooting video and the legislative report’s damning conclusion that the police response by local, state, and federal agencies disregarded its own active shooting training.
Schweit is the author of Stop The Killing: How To End The Mass Shooting Crisis .
The former FBI agent says law enforcement agencies around the world need to revaluate the effectiveness of their active shooter training programs.
Here’s a link if you wish to donate to the victims’ fund.
Here’s a link to the security camera video. Warning: it is graphic and disturbing.
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