A preliminary report by the Texas House investigative committee probing the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre outlines multiple failures by several entities, including the “overall law enforcement response.”
First responders at the scene “lost critical momentum” by treating the situation as a “barricaded subject” scenario instead of an “active shooter” scenario, the report stated.
“Correcting this error should have sparked greater urgency to immediately breach the classroom by any possible means, to subdue the attacker, and to deliver immediate aid to survive victims. Recognition of an active shooter scenario also should have prompted responders to prioritize the rescue of innocent victims over the precious time wasted in a search for door keys, and shields to enhance the safety of law enforcement responders,” the report added.
Here are some of the other preliminary conclusions that the report made regarding the law enforcement response:
- There was no law enforcement on scene when the shooter “came over the fence and toward the school.”
- Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo “did not assume his pre-assigned responsibility of incident command,” and other officers on scene didn’t offer assistance with incident command.
- Arredondo stayed in the hallway where he lacked “reliable communication with other law enforcement and he was unable to effectively implement staging or command and control of the situation.”
- Arredondo didn’t have his radios with him, so was unaware of 911 dispatch conversations because of “his failure to establish a reliable method of receiving critical information outside the building.”
- “There was an overall lackadaisical approach by law enforcement at the scene. For many, this was because they were given and relied on inaccurate information. For others, they had enough information to know better.”
- The US Marshals arrived on scene around 12:20 p.m., approximately 30 minutes before the door was breached. They provided a rifle-rated shield.
More background: Arredondo was placed on administrative leave from the police department on June 22. He resigned from the Uvalde city council in early July.