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New report details missed chances to stop Uvalde school shooting

Texas school shooting police chief
Texas school shooting police chief

A police officer armed with a rifle saw the gunman walk towards campus during the Uvalade school massacre but did not fire while waiting for permission from a supervisor to shoot, according to a widespread critic of the strategic response to the May massacre.

Of the 21 victims at Rob Elementary School, 19 children could have been “saved” on May 24 if they had received faster medical care when police waited more than an hour before breaking into a fourth-grade classroom, a review of a training center found in active shooter situation at Texas State University.

The report is another gruesome assessment of how police failed to act on opportunities that could have saved lives in the deadliest school shooting in the United States since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School murder.

Read the report, published by the university’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Program, “A reasonable officer would consider it an active situation and make a plan to deal with the suspect.”

The authors of the 26-page report said their findings were based on videos taken from the school, police body cameras, testimony from officers at the scene and statements from investigators.

– It turns out that no officer waiting in the hallway at the time of the shooting checked to see if the classroom door was locked. The head of the Texas state police agency also blamed officers at the scene for not checking the door.

– Officers had “weapons (including rifles), body armor (which may or may not be rated for closing rifle rounds), training and back-up. Victims in the classroom had none of these.”

– When officers finally entered the classroom at 12:50 a.m. – more than an hour after the shooting began – they weren’t well equipped to deal with the gunman.

– “Effective incident commands” never seem to have been established between multiple law enforcement agencies who responded to the shooting.

The report follows evidence last month where Texas Director of Public Security Col. Steven McCraw told the state Senate that the police response was a “disgusting failure.”

He specifically blamed Chief Pete Aredondo, saying that as commander at the scene, Uvalade school police chief made a “terrible decision” and prevented officers from confronting the gunman beforehand.

Mr. Aredondo tried to protect his activities, telling the Texas Tribune that he did not consider himself the commander in charge of the operation, and assumed that someone else had taken control of the law enforcement response.

He said he did not have his police and campus radio but he used his mobile phone to call for strategic gear, a sniper and classroom keys.

According to a report released Wednesday, Mr. Aredondo and another Ubalde police officer spent 13 minutes in the school hallway during the shooting, discussing tactical options, whether to use snipers, and how to enter the classroom window.

“They also discussed who had the key, the test key, the possibility of the door being locked, and whether the children and teachers were dying or dying,” the report said.

Mr McCrae said there were enough police officers and firefighters at the scene of the Uvalade school massacre that the gunman could stop him three minutes after entering the building and if they were upset they would find the classroom door open where he was being held. To test it

A lawyer for Mr. Aredondo and a spokesman for the Uvalde City Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Arredondo Uvalde is on leave from his job with the Combined Independent School District and resigned from his position as City Councilor last week.

Public leaders, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott, first praised the police response. Mr Abbott said officers responded quickly and rushed to the gun with “amazing courage” to get the killer out, saving lives. He later said he had been misled.

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