According to a new report released Sunday, nearly 400 officers were on site at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, before a single person attempted to breach the school and take down the shooter who had barricaded himself inside.
The failure of local authorities and the actions of a lone gunman resulted in the death of 19 children and two teachers during the mass shooting.
A Texas House Committee compiled the report. It details a series of missteps that worsened the outcome of the mass shooting. From the shooter’s family failing to identify warning signs to the school’s apparent habit of leaving doors unlocked or propped open, it gave a detailed account of the failures. The strongest condemnation was reserved for law enforcement officers who arrived on the scene and then waited to act for over an hour.
Three committee members authored the report, Reps Dustin Burrows, Joe Moody, and former state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman. The committee’s goal for the report was to create a comprehensive account aimed at making new policies that could stop such a horrific tragedy from happening again.
Breaking news: The most exhaustive report yet on the May 24 mass shooting inside a Uvalde, Tex., elementary school spread blame across every law enforcement agency responding to the attack. https://t.co/WCem90MES6 pic.twitter.com/Uvkec3GYMW
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 17, 2022
“The Committee issues this interim report now, believing the victims, their families, and the entire Uvalde community have already waited too long for answers and transparency,” they said.
“They failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety,” the report read.
The report openly criticizes law enforcement for failing to act in the face of an obvious emergency. The report noted that the most significant failure had not been a lack of human resources or equipment but a lack of leadership and communication at a critical moment.
Uvalde school district officers and local sheriff’s deputies took the brunt of the criticism in Sunday’s report.
According to the report, the overwhelming majority of responders on the scene had been state police officers (91) and U.S. Border Patrol agents (149). The remainder were U.S. Marshals, federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officers, and local authorities from neighboring counties.
“These local officials were not the only ones expected to supply the leadership needed during this tragedy. Hundreds of responders from numerous law enforcement agencies — many of whom were better trained and better equipped than the school district police — quickly arrived on the scene,” the committee wrote, adding that any one of those other officers “could have helped to address the unfolding chaos.”
The report drew a lot of attention from people around the country.
Activist Shannon Watts said, “Nearly 400 “good guys” responded to the Uvalde shooting: 5 school officers, 25 Uvalde officers, 16 sheriff’s deputies, neighboring law enforcement, 149 Border Patrol officers, 91 state police officers, 13 US Marshals and 8 federal DEA officers. They couldn’t stop one bad guy.”
Nearly 400 “good guys” responded to the Uvalde shooting: 5 school officers, 25 Uvalde officers, 16 sheriff's deputies, neighboring law enforcement, 149 Border Patrol officers, 91 state police officers, 13 US Marshals and 8 federal DEA officers.
They couldn’t stop one bad guy. https://t.co/W2IPxJeUXI
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 17, 2022
Veteran and author Matthew Betley said, “I can’t launch the #Uvalde press conference because I become too physically upset. Bottom line – all of those cops who are absolute cowards will pay for it in the next life, and I hope they live with the shame of it every day in this one.”
I can’t launch the #Uvalde press conference because I become too physically upset. Bottom line – all of those cops who are absolute cowards will pay for it in the next life, and I hope they live with the shame of it every day in this one.
— @Matthew Betley (@MatthewBetley) July 17, 2022
There will be further investigations into the events surrounding the tragic shooting as the families and community of Uvalde seek to find a path to healing.