State Investigation Report of Uvalde Shooting Reveals It’s Even Worse Than Previously Reported – Opinion

The Texas House of Representatives investigative committee’s interim report on the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24th, 2022, has been released. This report shows the grim reality of numerous government agency failures that lead to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24th 2022. The shooter killed 19 children and injured two others.

This report begins with a poignant tribute to teachers and students, as well as a reminder of all the human costs involved in the incident.

An example:

Eliahna “Ellie” Amyah Garcia
Ellie was a sweet, caring girl. Ellie enjoyed basketball and hoped to become a cheerleader. Ellie loved pink and purple. She also enjoyed eating ramen noodles. She was a long-term planner who was already picking dresses and dances for her quinceañera five years away.

Irma Garcia
Irma is remembered as courageous and selfless—a wife and mother of four who was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed one. Irma was a teacher for 23 years. Irma passed away protecting her students.

This report first outlines the security problems that led to the crime and the circumstances surrounding it. It notes how the Biden Administration’s lax immigration policies factored into a reciprocally lax security stance.

Another factor contributing to relaxed vigilance on campus was the frequency of security alerts and campus lockdowns resulting from a recent rise of “bailouts”—the term used in border communities for the increasingly frequent occurrence of human traffickers trying to outrun the police, usually ending with the smuggler crashing the vehicle and the passengers fleeing in all directions. The frequency of these “bailout”-related alarms—around 50 of them between February and May of 2022—contributed to a diminished sense of vigilance about responding to security alerts.

It was lacking basic security precautions to stop anyone trying to enter the school.

The school’s five-foot tall exterior fence was inadequate to meaningfully impede an intruder. Although security protocols were in place to protect exterior doors as well as internal classroom doors from intrusion, the school’s personnel created a culture where they didn’t follow them. They often left doors unlocked and tried to bypass locks. These unsafe behaviors were tolerated by school officials and the school district police, who knew of them and didn’t treat them as serious offenses that required immediate correction. The school suggested that the locks could be bypassed to make it easier for substitute teachers or other people who didn’t have their keys.

It did not take the proper steps to maintain locks and doors. Staff and students knew that the door leading to Room 111 was normally unlocked and easily accessible. The door to Room 111 was possible to lock, however it took extra work and effort for the latches in this room. Many knew Room 111’s door had a faulty lock, and school district police had specifically warned the teacher about it. Although the problem was reported to school administrators, no written order was placed for repairs.

The failures of technology played an important part.

Some factors prevented the campus from reporting the threat and the police. Teachers received the lockdown notice inconsistently due to low-quality internet and poor coverage on mobile phones. The alert could have been sent to more teachers sooner. This would have made it easier for them and their students.

Well-documented failures in law enforcement led by Pete Arredondo (then-Uvalde District Police Chief) have been documented. Another failure is highlighted in the report.

While Sgt. Coronado was out, and his bodycam recorded many people commenting about the need for a masterkey to the classrooms. When Sgt. Coronado returned to the south end of the corridor and saw Chief Arredondo, who was also on the phone asking for a lock key. He continued his focus there for 40 minutes. Chief Arredondo had personally attempted all but one set of keys, which he was given 178. Coronado cautioned him to stay clear of the hallway and the “fatal funnel,” Chief Arredondo responded, “just tell them to f***ing wait.”

According to the report, the teacher did not facilitate events by leaving one door unlocked.

A second press conference was held next morning outside Robb Elementary school, with new information. One was: “The back door was propped open. It wasn’t supposed to be … a teacher … propped it open [and] that was an access point that the subject used.” The idea that the door was propped open led to public outcry, and even a teacher who was not implicated was devastated as she wondered whether she had accidentally left a door open. The truth—confirmed by video—is that while a teacher had propped open the west exterior door, she actually saw the attacker approaching and slammed that door shut as she called 911 for help. She could have not known that the door was locked because it was unlocked from outside. It was verified that her account was true on May 31.

In the story, there is a mention of the human component.

Pictures began circulating condemning those shown on the FBI-prepared composite video after it was leaked. “Cellphone cop” was said to be standing around checking his phone, indifferent. What those sharing it did not know was that it was an image of Eva Mireles’s husband. After speaking with him before the incident, Eva Mireles told him that she was dying. The call was received by him in a natural state of shock and he was forbidden from returning to the police. This report does not mention many law enforcement failures, but the actions taken by this man are.

Problem is, however, the speed and power of social media. It allows truth to be spread but it does more to magnify inaccurate or incomplete information. Here’s an example of the way a picture can be taken without context and create an incorrect or false impression. This happens even when respected news outlets repeat it. Mark Twain said it best: “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth puts on its shoes.”

The report’s summary is brutally honest.

After hearing gunfire, the first responders reached west building and found themselves in a hall with debris from drywall, bullet holes, as well empty rifle casings. The attacker was identified by them as Rooms 111 & 112. The attacker was stopped and they reacted accordingly. They were immediately repulsed by the attacker with a burst firing rifle from within the classrooms. The responders immediately began to assess options to breach the classroom, but they lost critical momentum by treating the scenario as a “barricaded subject” instead of with the greater urgency attached to an “active shooter” scenario. It actually was an “active shooter” scenario because the attacker was preventing critically injured victims from getting medical attention.

In the initial response to the incident, Chief Arredondo was actively engaged in the effort to “stop the killing” up to the point when the attacker was located in Rooms 111 and 112, and the attacker fired on responding officers. There were many officers at the scene. Chief Arredondo didn’t assume incident command. This would have required him to inform other officers that the attacker was present and then leave the building in order to take command. Instead, he continued to remain in the hallway, which was not conducive for communication with law enforcement. He also found it difficult to implement command and control or staging of the incident.

There was no clear leader or coordinator of the law enforcement response. If any officers believed Chief Arredondo was the incident commander they should also have known that he could not be inside the building.

The law enforcement officers were generally lackadaisical. This was due to inaccurate information being given or relied on by many. Some others had the information they needed to be able to recognize and correct mistakes. Although there was obvious weakness in command at the scene, which should have been recognised by other law enforcement responders to the incident, Chief Arredondo and any of his officers surrounding him or those subordinated to him did not approach them to provide assistance.

Although 911 had received communication from victims in Rooms 111, 112, Chief Arredondo didn’t learn of it due to his failure of establishing a reliable way of getting critical information outside of the building. Chief Arredondo eventually realized that there were likely to be casualties in Rooms 111 or 112. Even if he had received information of surviving injured victims in the classrooms, it is unclear that he would have done anything differently to act “more urgently.”

The Committee has not received medical evidence that would inform a judgment about whether breaching the classroom sooner than the approximately 73 minutes that passed between the first responders’ initial arrival at the west building and their eventual breach of the classrooms could have been saved lives or mitigated injuries. As described above, it is likely that most of the deceased victims perished immediately during the attacker’s initial barrage of gunfire. It is possible that there were some survivors who survived the attack and died while on their way to the hospital.

You can blame the guns.

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