Official Report Slams Uvalde Police Response

A Texas House investigative committee accused law officers of “systematic failures and egregious poor decision making” in the massacre at Robb Elementary School in May.

Legislators and investigators sharply criticized the agonizing 77 minutes between the initial shooting and the classroom door finally being breached and the shooter engaged.

The 77-page interim report released on Sunday pointed accusing fingers directly at the nearly 400 officers who responded to the mass shooting. Nineteen children and two teachers were murdered when an 18-year-old gunman targeted the school in Uvalde, Texas.

The committee concluded that law officers “failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety.”

Blame was also placed at the feet of school administrators who “did not adequately prepare” for an active shooter situation. The report said leadership at the Uvalde school practiced a “regrettable culture of noncompliance” that “turned out to be fatal.”

Dangerous practices such as leaving doors open and unlocked were “tacitly condoned” by administrators. This was done to assist teachers who forgot their keys and for substitutes who did not have them.

Also explicitly condemned was the “void of leadership” that day in which no one took command of the police response. School district police chief Pete Arredondo assembled the response plan that named him as overseeing an active shooter situation.

Arredondo, however, testified that he did not consider himself the incident commander. The House report concluded that this “could have contributed to the loss of life.”

The school system police chief handled the incident as a “barricaded subject” rather than an active shooter. The committee called this a “terrible, tragic mistake.”

The committee noted that the vast majority of responding officers were from federal and state forces. Many, it said, were “better trained and better equipped” than the local police and should have filled the “leadership void.”

The report was personally delivered to families of the victims before being made public Sunday. The loved ones also viewed an edited video of the police response to the shooting. This was followed by a question-and-answer session with the media.

It did not place blame on a single person but rather on systematic breakdowns and the “unacceptably long period of time” that police waited before entering the classroom and confronting the shooter.