Sordid Lessons from Uvalde School Shooting; Justice Department Cites “Cascading Failures”

by Tommy Grant

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The U.S. Department of Justice released its findings yesterday on the May 2022 school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which left nineteen children and two teachers dead and another 17 wounded. The report, “Critical Incident Review Active Shooter at Robb Elementary School,” found what it called “cascading failures of leadership, decision-making, tactics, policy and training” also using terms such as “critical failure,” “breakdown,” demonstrations upon leadership “of no urgency,” policy “training deficiencies” and more on the part of mostly local law enforcement officials. The word “failure” appeared dozens of times throughout the report.

The report noted that law enforcement officers were on the scene within 3 minutes of the first 911 call, yet the threat was not eliminated until more than an hour later.

According to 1440 Daily Digest:

The central issue was found to be a failure by law enforcement to treat the scene as an active shooter situation upon arrival. Specifically, first-on-the-scene responders, including the commanding officer reportedly shifted the response to that of a barricaded shooter…despite 911 dispatchers relaying they had received calls from children inside the classroom four minutes after officers arrived. Leadership also failed to establish a clear command structure, leaving many arriving support officers confused and without clear orders. 

Officials received intense criticism in the aftermath of the attack, with more than 75 minutes passing after the initial police response and before action was taken against the shooter, during which multiple calls by students were made to 911.

Former Uvalde Acting Police Chief Mariano Pargas and Uvalde school district Police Chief Pete Arredondo, neither who are still on their jobs, is where much of the initial blame has been placed as they were both ultimately in charge. Indeed, many families of the victims and within the community of Uvalde want officials who were responsible for the botched response to face criminal charges, according to the Texas Tribune. According to the Associated Press, local officials are still “weighing whether to bring charges.”

What added more pain and disgust to the situation for many Americans at the time of the massacre was the scene of police officers, who we now know went from “active shooter” mode to dealing with what they simply were communicating as a “barricade situation,” keeping understandably panicked parents—some getting text messages and calls from their children inside the school—from entering to save their children.

To review the complete 610-page Justice Dept. report, click here.

See a timeline of events that day here.

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Read the full article here

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