According to Wednesday's comprehensive critique of the tactical response to the Uvalde massacre, a police officer with a rifle observed the gunman at Uvalde elementary school shooting. He did not fire while waiting to be authorized by a supervisor.
Robb Elementary School's 21 victims, which included 19 children, could have been saved on May 24, if they had received medical attention sooner. Police waited over an hour before entering the fourth-grade classroom. A review by Texas State University's training center for active shooter situations revealed that this was a mistake.
This report is another stark example of the failure to take advantage of opportunities that could have saved lives in the worst school shooting in America since Sandy Hook Elementary School's massacre in 2012.
"A reasonable officer would have considered that this was an active situation, and devised plans to address the suspect," said the report by the university's Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training program.
The 26-page report's authors stated that their conclusions were based on video from the school, the police body camera, witness testimony, and statements by investigators. Their findings include:
This report comes after testimony by Col. Steven McCraw last month, Texas Department of Public Safety director, who said that the response of the police was an "utter failure". Pete Arredondo was blamed for the "terrible" decisions made by the Uvalde schools chief of police and the omission that officers were able to confront the gunman.
Arredondo tried to defend himself, telling the Texas Tribune he did not consider himself commander in command of operations and assumed that someone else was responsible for the law enforcement response. Arredondo claimed he didn’t have his campus radios or police radios, but that he did use his cellphone to call for tactical equipment, a sniper, and classroom keys.
The Wednesday report states that Arredondo and another Uvalde officer were in the school hallway discussing tactical options, including whether or not to use snipers, and how to enter the classroom windows.
The report stated that they also discussed who holds the keys, testing keys and the likelihood of the door locking. It also addressed whether teachers and children are still alive or dying.
McCraw stated that there were enough police officers and firepower at the Uvalde school massacre scene to stop the gunman within three minutes of his entry. If they had checked, they would have discovered the door to the classroom where the gunman was locked up.
A spokesperson for Uvalde's city police did not respond to inquiries for comment. A lawyer representing Arredondo was also unavailable. Arredondo, who is currently on leave with the Uvalde Consolidated International School District, resigned last week from his post as a city councilor.
Texas Governor. Greg Abbott initially praised Uvalde's police response. Abbott stated that officers responded quickly to the gunfire and ran towards the killer with "amazing courage", saving lives. Later, he claimed he was being misled.