UPDATED 8:50 AM PT – Monday, July 18, 2022
May 24, 2022 marked a day that changed the community of Uvalde, Texas forever. Nineteen students and two teachers were killed after a gunman entered Robb Elementary School.
On Sunday, the Texas House Investigative Committee released a 77-page interim report compiled with their findings and said multiple failures by several entities could have been avoided. While the committee noted they didn’t find any “villains” other than the attacker through the course of its investigation, there were multiple situations that foreshadowed the tragedy.
— Dade Phelan (@DadePhelan) July 17, 2022
The report started with the school. According to the committee, Robb Elementary was not adequately prepared for an armed intruder. This is how the 18-year-old attacker to was able to gain entry. The shooter proceeded to go into rooms 111 and 112, rapidly firing over 100 rounds between both classrooms for about two and a half minutes. Notably, room 111 had a faulty lock that had been reported to the school administration several times prior.
Before the attack, the committee said the gunman’s sole desire was for notoriety and fame. the report indicates the plan was a thought since late 2021, but didn’t start rolling into motion until the attacker turned 18 in May. One week before the incident, he purchased two rifles and over 2,000 rounds of ammunition. He had no prior experience with firearms and the investigation found the Uvalde shooting was likely the first time he had ever fired a weapon.
Online interactions involving the attacker also signaled the tragedy. On the day of the attack, he shot his grandmother in the face “marking the beginning of the end for Rob Elementary’.’ Surveillance footage captured the shooter crashing his vehicle after he apparently lost control on the way to the school. Reports of the shooting first came in after a teacher saw someone dressed in all black toss a backpack over the fence and pull out a gun.
In examination of the response, 376 law enforcement officers in total responded to the tragedy. They failed to follow active shooter training and failed to prioritize victims safety over their own. The Chief of Police did not act as incident commander, which is directed in Uvalde CISD’s active shooter plan and the position was not performed by anyone on the scene.
The report says, “a command post could have changed chaos into order,” adding it could have also sparked greater urgency to officers inside to immediately breach the classroom. Officers wouldn’t enter the classroom and take the shooter out for over an hour. The committee said first responders “lost critical momentum” by treating the shooter as a “barricaded subject.” It added, at this time committee members “do not know whether responders could have saved more lives by shortening that delay.”
Meanwhile, state lawmakers will now review the report and decide how changes can be made to ensure safety in Texas.