(Video Credit: Fox News)
A scathing 77-page investigative report not only found the Uvalde police at fault during the Robb Elementary School mass shooting, but it also noted that school administrators “did not adequately prepare” for a potential shooter.
The report was released on Sunday by the Texas House of Representatives Investigative Committee. Investigators charged that school administrators adopted a “regrettable culture of noncompliance” with safety and security measures leading up to the shooting, placing partial blame at their feet. This noncompliance “turned out to be fatal,” it asserted.
Administrators “tacitly condoned” unsafe practices, according to the report, because they knowingly violated or allowed others to violate rules that required doors to be closed and locked at the school.
“The west door to the west building was supposed to be continuously locked. When the attacker approached on May 24, 2022, it was unlocked, and he was able to enter the building there,” the report stated.
“While the school had adopted security policies to lock exterior doors and internal classroom doors, there was a regrettable culture of noncompliance by school personnel who frequently propped doors open and deliberately circumvented locks,” the report contended. “At a minimum, school administrators and school district police tacitly condoned this behavior as they were aware of these unsafe practices and did not treat them as serious infractions requiring immediate correction.”
Uvalde Shooting Report:
— Natasha Fatah (@NatashaFatah) July 18, 2022
The school allegedly encouraged teachers and staff to leave the doors unlocked or propped open in case a teacher forgot their keys according to the report.
“In fact, the school actually suggested circumventing the locks as a solution for the convenience of substitute teachers and others who lacked their own keys,” the investigation concluded.
The report charged that there were “multiple systemic failures” and that the school had not sufficiently prepared for the risk of a shooting. It also noted that Principal Mandy Gutierrez never attempted to communicate the lockdown over the school’s intercom system.
“Had school personnel locked the doors as the school’s policy required, that could have slowed his progress for a few precious minutes — long enough to receive alerts, hide children, and lock doors,” the report continued.
“With hindsight, we can say that Robb Elementary did not adequately prepare for the risk of an armed intruder on campus. The school’s five-foot tall exterior fence was inadequate to meaningfully impede an intruder,” the findings declared.
A large part of the report took direct aim at the 376 law enforcement officers who descended on the scene. Their response was said to be chaotic and lacked a central command point. There were nearly 150 U.S. Border Patrol agents and 91 state police officials who gathered and waited outside the school for over an hour as the shooter went on his killing spree inside, according to Fox News.
Processing the report and now all the videos we have obtained — it’s a good time to examine what other law enforcement agencies like border patrol did in Uvalde. There were 149 personnel from that agency on scene.
We still need more body camera footage from other agencies.
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) July 18, 2022
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin released all officers’ bodycam footage of the shooting which showed the confusion and lack of command among officers that day as well.
Investigators point out that in the absence of a strong incident commander, another officer should have stepped in.
“These local officials were not the only ones expected to supply the leadership needed during this tragedy,” the report stated. “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 other responders “could have helped to address the unfolding chaos,” according to the report.
Meanwhile, parents and families of victims are still waiting for people to be held accountable for the “systemic failure and egregious poor decision-making” that resulted in the deaths of 19 children and two teachers. People want answers and there is intense anger over the tragedy.
(Video Credit: CBSDFW)
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