An investigation into the Uvalde school massacre in Texas has found “systematic failures and poor decision making” in every law enforcement agency responding to the attack, suggesting a swifter response by police could possibly have saved lives.

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Nineteen students and two teachers were killed when Salvador Ramos opened fire in his former fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary School in May this year.

The interim report by the Texas House of Representatives committee investigating the incident sets out in detail what took place during the 77 minutes between the gunman opening fire and the police finally storming the school. In a scathing assessment of emergency services, the report asked why none of the nearly 400 local, state and federal law enforcement officers at the scene that day moved to lead the response sooner.

The Uvalde schools police chief Pete Arredondo, who wrote the district’s active shooter response plan, testified that he did not consider himself to be in charge on the day. He was placed on administrative leave last month and has since resigned.

However, the BBC reported that “there were responders from numerous agencies on the scene – many better trained and better equipped than the school district police – who could have helped to take control of the situation”.

Aside from widespread failures by authorities on the day of the shooting itself, the The Texas Tribune said the report also “points to a trail of missed signs leading to one of the worst mass shootings in Texas – one that was months in the making”.

The paper said that a year before the massacre, the gunman had already earned the nickname “school shooter” and never received special education services despite being identified as “at-risk” in school reports.

The Washington Post said the aim of the report “was to bring much-needed answers to Uvalde families struggling to trust anyone with authority in Texas amid competing narratives about how the children and teachers were killed”. It added that while the report said it was not clear whether lives could have been saved with a swifter response, “it left open the possibility”.

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Source:: The Week – All news


Texas school shooting: why it took 400 police 77 minutes to stop killer

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