The damning report and hours of body camera footage further revealed the chaotic response to the mass shooting at Uvalde Elementary School, where hundreds of law enforcement officers gathered but then waited to confront the gunman, even as a child trapped with the shooter called 911. 911 service.

What you need to know

  • A report and hours of body camera footage released Sunday show that hundreds of law enforcement officers responded to the May 24 mass shooting at a school in Uwald, Texas, but waited to confront the gunman even after the child who was inside trapped with a shooter, called 911
  • The investigative committee’s findings were the first to criticize both state and federal law enforcement, not just the local government of a South Texas city.
  • The city’s police body cam footage, released hours later, only further highlighted the failures — and fueled the anger and frustration of the victims’ relatives.
  • Nearly 400 law enforcement officers rushed to the school, but “flagrantly poor decision-making” led to more than an hour of chaos before the gunman was finally killed.

The investigative committee’s findings, released Sunday, were the first to criticize both state and federal law enforcement agencies, not just local authorities in a South Texas city, for the shocking inaction of heavily armed officers when a gunman opened fire in two adjacent fourth-grade classrooms. Rob Elementary School, 19 students and two teachers were killed.

City police body cam footage released hours later only further highlighted the failures — and fueled the anger and frustration of the victims’ relatives.

“It’s disgusting. It’s disgusting,” said Michael Brown, whose 9-year-old son was in the school cafeteria the day of the shooting and survived. “They are cowards.”

Nearly 400 law enforcement officers rushed to the school, but “grossly poor decision-making” led to more than an hour of chaos before the gunman was finally gunned down and killed, according to a report written by a Texas House investigative committee.

Together, the report and more than three hours of newly released body camera footage from the May 24 tragedy provide the most complete account to date of one of the worst school shootings in US history.

“At Robb Elementary, law enforcement officers failed to adhere to their active shooter training and did not prioritize saving innocent lives over their own safety,” the report said.

The gunman fired about 142 shots into the building — and it’s “almost certain” that at least 100 shots were fired before any officers entered, according to the report, which outlined multiple failures. Among them:

– No one took command, despite the fact that there were dozens of officers on the spot.

— The commander of the operational-tactical group of the border service waited for a bullet-proof shield and a working opener for the doors to the classrooms, which may not even be needed, before entering.

— An officer with the Uvalde Police Department said he heard about the 911 calls coming from inside the rooms and that he understood officers on one side of the building knew there were victims inside. However, no one tried to enter the classroom.

The committee did not “receive medical evidence” showing that police officers storming the classrooms earlier would have saved lives, but concluded that “it is likely that some victims could have survived had they not had to wait 73 extra minutes to be rescued . »

The findings had at least one immediate effect: Lt. Mariano Pargas, an officer with the Uvalde Police Department who served as the city’s police chief at the time of the massacre, was placed on administrative leave.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said an investigation will be launched to determine whether Pargas should have assumed command of the scene. He also said for the first time that some officers had left the force after the shooting, but did not specify the exact number, saying there were three.

Hours after the report was released, Uvalde officials separately released for the first time hours of body camera footage of city police responding to the attack. It included video of several officers responding to a dispatcher’s report about 30 minutes after the shooting began that a child in the room had called 911.

“The room is full of victims. A child calling 911,” the officer said.

Another body camera video from Uvalde Staff Sgt. Eduardo Canales, head of the city’s SWAT team, testified that an officer was approaching the classrooms when gunfire rang out at 11:37 a.m.

A minute later, Canales said, “Man, we’ve got to get there. We have to get there, he’s just shooting. We have to get there.” Another officer could be heard saying, “DPS is sending their men.”

It was 72 minutes later, at 12:50 p.m., when officers finally burst into the classrooms and killed the shooter.

Calls for police accountability have grown in Uvalde since the shooting.

“It’s a joke. They are a joke. They have no business wearing a badge. None of them do,” Vincent Salazar, the grandfather of 11-year-old Layla Salazar, who was among those killed, said Sunday.

Anger flared in Uvalde even after the report was released, with Tina Quintanilla-Taylor, whose daughter survived the shooting, yelling at three members of the Texas House committee as they left a news conference after the results were released.

Committee members invited victims’ families to discuss the report in private, but Quintanilla-Taylor said the committee should have taken questions from the community, not just the media.

“I am furious. They should come back and give us their full attention,” she said later. “These leaders are not leaders,” she said.

According to the report, 376 law enforcement officers gathered at the school. The vast majority of those who responded were federal and state law enforcement agencies. That included nearly 150 US Border Patrol agents and 91 state police officers.

“Apart from the attacker, the Committee during the investigation did not identify any ‘rascals,'” the report says. “There is no one to whom we can attribute evil intentions or evil motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and extremely poor decision-making.’

The report noted that many of the hundreds of law enforcement officers who rushed to the school were better trained and equipped than school district police, who the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety previously blamed for not attending the room sooner.

Investigators said it was not their job to determine whether officers should be prosecuted, saying that decisions are up to each law enforcement agency. Until Sunday, only one of the hundreds of officers on the scene — Pete Arredondo, police chief of the Uvalde School District — was known to be on vacation.

“Everybody who came on the scene said it was chaotic,” said Texas State Representative Dustin Burroughs, the Republican who led the investigation.

Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the US Border Patrol did not immediately respond to requests for comment Sunday.

The report followed weeks of closed-door interviews with more than 40 people, including witnesses and law enforcement officials, who were at the scene of the shooting.

No officer has come under as much scrutiny since the shooting as Arredondo, who also left his newly appointed seat on the City Council after the shooting. Arredondo told the committee that he treated the shooter as a “barricaded subject” and defended that he never viewed the scene as an active shooter situation because he had no visual contact with the gunman.

Arredondo also tried to find a key to the classrooms, but no one ever checked to see if the doors were locked, the report said.

The report criticized the “not bad” approach of the hundreds of officers who surrounded the school and said they should have recognized that Arredondo’s presence at the school without a reliable link “contradicted” him being the scene commander. The report concluded that some officers waited because they were relying on bad information, while others “had enough information to know better.”

The report was the result of one of several investigations into the shooting, including one led by the Justice Department.

Brown, the father of a 9-year-old child who was in the cafeteria the day of the shooting, came to the committee’s press conference Sunday with signs that read, “We want accountability” and “Hold Pete Arredondo accountable.”

Brown said he had not yet read the report but already knew enough to say the police had “blood on their hands.”

Source by [author_name]

Previous articleAffiliate Content: Keynote Series – Smarter Technology for the Next Reality
Next articlePrince Harry delivered a lecture at the UN General Assembly