Uvalde cops missed 3 chances to stop shooter before he entered, report finds; one officer was ‘waiting for permission’

An early opportunity to prevent the massacre at a Uvalde, Texas elementary school was missed when a law enforcement officer who had the alleged shooter in his gunsight prior to his entry into the building did not take the shot because he was waiting for permission.

A just-released report from the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University provided new details on the failure of Uvalde police to prevent the slaughter which claimed the lives of nineteen young children and two adult teachers on May 24.

The unnamed officer, who was armed with a high-powered rifle that was zeroed in on 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos and could have taken him down outside of Robb Elementary School, did not receive authorization to fire, a lost chance that could have made a big difference.

“Prior to the suspect’s entry into the building at 11:33:00, according to statements, a Uvalde Police Officer on scene at the crash site observed the suspect carrying a rifle outside the west hall entry.

The officer, armed with a rifle, asked his supervisor for permission to shoot the suspect,” the report states. “However, the supervisor either did not hear or responded too late. The officer turned to get confirmation from his supervisor and when he turned back to address the suspect, he had entered the west hallway unabated.”

Seconds later, the shooter made his way into one of the classrooms where the murders took place and “children’s screams could be heard along with numerous gunshots in the classrooms. The rate of fire was initially very rapid then slowed, lasting only a few seconds,” according to the report.

(Video: YouTube/KSAT)

“In this instance, the UPD officer would have heard gunshots and/or reports of gunshots and observed an individual approaching the school building armed with a rifle. A reasonable officer would conclude in this case, based upon the totality of the circumstances, that use of deadly force was warranted,” the report says.

While much criticism has focused on school district police chief Pete Arredondo since the horrifying incident that shocked the nation, the ALERRT report examines the role of law enforcement as a whole, identifying three missed opportunities.

Investigative reporter Tony Plohetski of Austin ABC affiliate KVUE was among the first to break the news of the report’s findings.

The ALERRT findings state that “Ultimately it is unclear why the officers decided to assault the room at 12:50:03. There was no apparent change in driving force or response capability at this point.”

“While we do not have definitive information at this point, it is possible that some of the people who died in this event could have been saved had they received more rapid medical care,” the report concluded.

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