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Police had the opportunity to open fire on a gunman in Uvalde, Texas, a school shooting, new report says

A police officer armed with a rifle who followed the gunman in the Uvalde, Texas elementary school massacre walked toward the campus but did not open fire while waiting for the supervisor’s permission to shoot, according to a review. far-reaching published Wednesday on the tactical response to the tragic May.

Some of the 21 victims at Robb Primary School, including 19 children, could have been “saved” on May 24 if they had received medical attention sooner while police waited more than an hour before 4th grade classroom break-in, an assessment of a training session. center at Texas State University for active shooting situations found.

The report is another damning assessment of how police failure to act on opportunities could have saved lives in the deadliest school shooting in America since the elementary school massacre. school at Sandy Hook in 2012.

“A reasonable officer would treat this as a proactive situation and devise a plan to deal with the suspect,” reads the report published by the school’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training program University.

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WARNING: This video contains visual details. A fourth grade student who survived a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, was among the survivors and parents of the victims who have testified before the US Congress, demanding action. gun control.

The authors of the 26-page report said their findings were based on video obtained from the school, police cameras, statements from officers at the scene and statements from investigators. Among their findings:

  • It seems there were no officers waiting in the hallway during filming to check that the classroom door was locked. The head of the Texas state police department also blamed officers at the scene for not checking the doors.
  • Officers have “weapons (including rifles), armor (which may or may not be rated to prevent rifle bullets), training and backup. Class victims do not have those This Thursday.”
  • Finally, when officers entered the classroom at 12:50 p.m. — more than an hour after the shooting began — they were no better equipped to confront the gunman than they were at the time.
  • “Effective incident handling orders” never seem to have been established among the many law enforcement agencies that responded to the shooting.

The gunman, an 18-year-old man with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, entered the building at 11:33 a.m. Earlier, a Uvalde police officer, who reportedly did not identify, looked at saw the gunman carrying the weapon toward the entrance to the west hall. The employee asked permission from a supervisor to open fire, but the supervisor “either didn’t hear it or responded too late,” the report said.

According to the report, when the officer turned towards the gunman, he was inside “undiminished”.

VIEW | The delayed response was wrong, the police admitted:

Texas police admit ‘wrong decision’ to delay response in school shooting

Officials say police in Uvalde, Texas, made the ‘wrong decision’ to wait more than an hour in a school hallway before confronting an armed gunman who had barricated himself inside. a classroom with children.

The report is one of many fact-finding reviews released in the wake of the worst school shooting in Texas history. A committee set up by Texas lawmakers also interviewed more than 20 people, including officers present at the scene, behind closed doors for several weeks. It is unclear when they will publish their findings.

It follows testimony last month in which Colonel Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told the state Senate that the police response was a “huge failure.” He specifically blamed Police Chief Pete Arredondo, saying that as commander at the scene, the Uvalde school police chief made “terrible decisions” and prevented officers from confronting the gunman earlier.

Arredondo has tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he does not consider himself the commander in charge of operations and that he believes someone has controlled the response of law enforcement. He said he didn’t have a police station or a school radio but he used his cell phone to call in tactical gear, snipers and classroom keys.

According to his report released on Wednesday, Arredondo and another Uvalde policeman spent 13 minutes in the school corridor while shooting to discuss tactical options, whether to use snipers. or not and how to enter the classroom window.

“They also discussed who had the keys, the check keys, the possibility of the doors being locked, and if the children and teachers were dying or dying,” the report read.

McCraw said police had enough officers and firepower at the scene of the Uvalde school massacre to stop the gunman three minutes after he entered the building, and they would find the classroom door where he was unlocked. if they care. check it out.

Arredondo’s attorney and a spokeswoman for the Uvalde police department did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Arredondo is leaving his job at the Uvalde Unified Independent School District and resigned as a city councilor last week.

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