A new report issued by the Texas House of Representatives indicates that almost 400 law enforcement officers were at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, as a school shooter killed 19 students and two teachers during a rampage that lasted more than an hour.
An investigative committee working for the lawmakers released their 77-page report on Sunday that provided there were “systemic failures and egregious poor decision making” at fault for the delayed response to the crisis.
Investigators found that officers from federal, state, and local agencies all demonstrated “an overall lackadaisical approach” at the crime scene as the shooting was underway.
The response to the school shooting included 376 officers. There were 149 officers present from the U.S. Border Patrol, and 14 from the federal Department of Homeland Security. The Texas Department of Public Safety had 91 officers present.
Local law enforcement officers included 25 from the Uvalde Police Department, 16 from the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Department, 16 from the San Antonio Police Department’s SWAT team, and five from the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department.
Even though the law enforcement response was overwhelming and included highly trained and fully equipped officers, the shooter was not taken out until he had been inside the school full of children for 77 minutes.
The report provided that it is most likely that the shooter fired most of his rounds and “murdered most of his innocent victims before any responder set foot in the building.” Investigators said they believe that of the 142 rounds the killer fired, “it is almost certain that he rapidly fired over 100” before any responder was inside the building.
The report indicates that multiple agencies on site failed to adhere to their active shooter training policies and protocols.
The committee also found that several highly-trained agencies with jurisdiction failed by not taking over control of the crime scene from former Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo.
The report finds that no officer from any agency “seized the initiative to establish an incident command post.” It appeared to investigators that no ranking officer approached Arredondo or anyone else to point out the need for a command post.
The report also indicates that Robb Elementary staff failed to follow safety policies. Doors were left unlocked around the school and some were propped open with rocks or doorstops.
As a bottom line statement, the report finds that sworn officers on site “failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety.” Based on the evidence regarding the reported injuries and medical treatment, the committee wrote that “it is plausible that some victims could have survived if they had not had to wait 73 additional minutes for rescue.”