Texas Report on Uvalde Killings Details Total Failure

Legislative investigation finds 'egregious poor decision making' in response to Robb Elementary
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2022 3:05 PM CDT
Updated Jul 17, 2022 8:00 PM CDT
Uvalde Failures Were Sweeping, Systemic: Report
Grace Valencia, great aunt of shooting victim Uziyah Garcia, talks to reporters Sunday after picking up a copy of the Texas House investigative committee report on the shootings at Robb Elementary School.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – A Texas legislative report released Sunday spreads blame among law enforcement, the Uvalde school district, social media platforms, and the gunman's family in the mass shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers. "Systemic failures and egregious poor decision making" allowed the gunman to kill at will for more than an hour despite the presence of 376 officers and the gunman's complete lack of experience with firearms, the report says. The force gathered at Robb Elementary School on May 24 was larger than the one that defended the Alamo, the Tribune points out. The families of the victims received the preliminary, 77-page report Sunday morning and were scheduled to discuss it with members of the committee later in the day, per CNN.

The report identified no "villains" other than the gunman, "no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives." But it detailed a sweeping breakdown and "an overall lackadaisical approach" to the crime. The officers who went to the school included 25 city police officers, 16 sheriff’s deputies, and five school district officers; the rest were federal or state officers, whose mandate includes responding to "mass attacks in public places." District Police Chief Pete Arredondo said he assumed someone else was in charge that day. But the district's active shooter response plan, which he co-wrote, says the chief will "become the person in control of the efforts of all law enforcement and first responders that arrive at the scene." Local officers have received the most criticism, but the report points out that "these local officials were not the only ones expected to supply the leadership needed during this tragedy," adding that officers from other agencies "could have helped to address the unfolding chaos."

"They're a joke. They've got no business wearing a badge," said Vincent Salazar, grandfather of 11-year-old victim Layla Salazar, on Sunday, per the AP. "None of them do." The report lists clear warning signs about the gunman that no one, including his family, acted on, per the Tribune. A year before he shot 21 people to death, other gamers gave him the nickname, "school shooter." He told a girlfriend he wouldn't live beyond 18. He was drawn to gore and violent sex online, sometimes sharing images of suicides and beheadings. He became furious when he lost games, threatening female players especially. He collected information about the mass shooting in a Buffalo supermarket. He spent time with a relative who went to Robb to learn about his schedule and lunch periods. An out-of-town friend grew concerned and offered to visit the gunman in July or August. "Damn that’s too late," the 18-year-old answered. (Read more Uvalde mass shooting stories.)

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