Connect with us

News

Here are five takeaways from the Uvalde shooting report by the House Committee

The House report on the Uvalde shooting highlighted important things about police use of force.

Published

on

The most comprehensive analysis yet of the May 24 Uvalde school massacre and the shortcomings of law enforcement and other state and local officials will be released by a special committee of the Texas House on Sunday. 77 pages were dedicated to the shooter’s preparations, the school district’s shortcomings, and the tardy response of law enforcement to a massacre that claimed the lives of 19 kids and two instructors.

Takeaway Number Five:

1. Law enforcement shortcomings extend beyond local police: After coming under fire, the police at Robb Elementary School chose to retreat and wait for backup rather than follow the active shooter theory that was developed in the wake of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.

Uvalde schools police chief Pete Arredondo has been accused of neglecting to take command of the incident and waiting for a key to unlock the classroom door, where the gunman had taken refuge, during previous investigations. Even though state and federal agents outnumbered school and city police in Uvalde by a wide margin, according to the reports, none of them approached Arredondo for permission to delegate power for the response.

Advertisement

376 police officers descended on the school in a chaotic and unorganized situation that lasted 73 more minutes. According to the investigation, there was no apparent leadership, fundamental communication, or sense of urgency among the members of the group to stop the gunman.

Robb Elementary’s active shooter policy mandated that classroom doors be shut during school hours, but this was not followed. But many witnesses informed the committee that teachers would prop open both inside and outdoor doors with pebbles, wedges, and magnets. According to the article, this was due in part to a scarcity of keys.

As recently as March, the door to room 111, one of two neighboring rooms in which a gunman opened fire, did not usually latch. The head custodian, on the other hand, testified that he had never heard of any issues with that door and that no service orders had been placed for it during the school year.

A phone application was also employed by Uvalde schools to allow anyone in the school to activate a “secure” or “lockdown.” Staff were not receiving alerts in a timely manner due to inadequate Wi-Fi and mobile service and the fact that some school employees did not keep or carry their phones with them, according to the committee. Committee members discovered that school staff did not always react with a feeling of urgency to alarms.

Advertisement

Using “Bailouts” made school staff less sensitive to safety alerts. The frequency with which alerts were issued may have contributed to the attitude of complacency that exists today. As a result of an increase in “bailout” incidents near a local high school, the police in Uvalde, Texas said they’ve seen a rise in suspected undocumented migrants who intentionally crash and scatter to evade capture. According to the report, Uvalde schools have had 47 “secure” or “lockdown” occurrences since late February. The committee estimated the bailouts were to blame for 90 percent of the problems.

Uvalde CISD parents were so worried about the amount of bailouts occurring near elementary-school campuses that they offered to pay off-duty police to reinforce the Uvalde CISD police presence, according to an article published by the district’s website.

4. The shooter hinted that he was about to go on a killing spree: To a friend on Instagram, the gunman said, “Are you still going to remember me after 50 some days?”

The individual said, “I don’t think so.”

Advertisement

I guess we’ll see what happens in May,” Ramos said.

That was just one of many cryptic cues Ramos dropped online to suggest that he was up to something big. Officials say he began uploading videos and photographs of suicides and beheadings online, showing a fascination with gore and violent sex. His anger and threats toward others escalated during the course of his gaming sessions.

Assaults on women began to recur. Whataburger also terminated his employment after one month because he had threatened one of his female coworkers.

In spite of the threatening and violent language, no one reported his online activity to the authorities. No one has reported his behavior to any social media site, but the committee found no evidence of attempts to restrict his access or report him to the authorities as a threat by other members of the platform.

Advertisement

Public trust in the probe was weakened by false claims made by state officials in the days following the shooting, according to a report.

A Uvalde Police Department officer sent to brief Gov. Greg Abbott and other state executives fainted moments before the conference began the day after the slaughter. Regional Director Victor Escalon, who had arrived at the school minutes before the shooting had ended, took his place, conveying the secondhand statements of police.

“False narrative” that the shooting lasted as little as 40 minutes because “officers who promptly formed a plan, lined up and neutralized the perpetrator” was the reason for Abbott’s press conference immediately following the briefing, the committee stated.

Even a thorough investigation can take months or even years, especially if there are so many law enforcement personnel engaged, according to the article. When law enforcement gives a briefing, it is expected that they will make clear which facts are verifiable and which are not.

Advertisement
Advertisement