Report Shows 'Systemic Failures' in Uvalde Shooting that Extend Beyond Local Police
A total of 376 officers are said to have made faulty decisions during more than an hour when an active gunman took the lives of 21 in the Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting.
The almost 400 law enforcement officers engaged in “egregiously poor decision-making” resulting in the chaos that lasted more than an hour, according to a new report cited by The Associated Press.
The 80-page report from the Texas House of Representatives Investigative Committee on the Robb Elementary Shooting found fault with both state and federal law enforcement officials, along with local Uvalde officers.
Included in the report was the commentary on over three hours of body camera footage of the event, which is believed to have offered the fullest picture of the events of May 24, and possibly the closest look at any mass shooting in U.S. history, according to the AP.
The report indicated that there were roughly 142 rounds shot inside the building and it was “almost certain” that at least 100 came from the shooter before any officer entered.
There were a number of failures detailed in the report, including that there was no assumption of command, despite officers on the scene.
The report also alleged that a tactical team from Border Patrol held their breach of the building, waiting for a bullet-proof shield and a working master key for the classroom.
Evidence has since indicated that while lawmakers waited for the key, the classroom may not have even been locked, according to Reuters.
The report indicates that 911 calls from inside the classroom made it to the Uvalde Police Department, and at least some of the officers knew there were victims trapped inside, but still did not breach the classroom.
The report was written by an investigative committee from the Texas House of Representatives who stated, “There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregious poor decision making.”
Near the end of the report the lawmakers stated, “Given the information known about victims who survived through the time of the breach and who later died on the way to the hospital, it is plausible that some victims could have survived if they had not had to wait 73 additional minutes for rescue.”
According to the AP, the information released in the report prompted quick action on at least some of the issues outlined, including fallout within the Uvalde Police Department.
Lt. Mariano Pargas was the Uvalde Police Department officer acting as the city’s police chief during the massacre. The officer has since been placed on administrative leave.
“This administrative leave is to investigate whether Lt. Pargas was responsible for taking command on May 24th, what specific actions Lt. Pargas took to establish that command, and whether it was even feasible given all the agencies involved and other possible policy violations,” McLaughlin wrote in a statement.
We just got word from the Mayor of #Uvalde that Lt. Mariano Pargas, the acting police chief for Uvalde PD, has been put on administrative leave. @KXAN_News pic.twitter.com/tjIebahrj2
— Jala Washington (@Jala__WashTV) July 17, 2022
According to The Hill, the mayor publically agreed with the committee’s finding that there was a failure of command, but said the city has lingering questions: “We want to know which agency took what specific actions, and where did the critical breakdown occur.”
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