Uvalde shooting report and video reveal failures in law enforcement response across the board

The 18-year-old who massacred 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde on May 24 had no experience with firearms before his rampage began. He targeted an elementary school with an active shooter policy that had been deemed adequate but also had a long history of doors propped open.

No one was able to stop the gunman from carrying out the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, in part because of “systemic failures and egregious poor decision making” by nearly everyone involved who was in a position of power, a new investigation into the shooting has found.

On Sunday, a Texas House committee released the most exhaustive account yet of the shooter, his planning, his attack and the fumbling response he provoked.

Family members and friends participate in a march in Uvalde on July 10, 2022, in support of those killed and injured in the school shooting at Robb Elementary. Credit: Evan L’Roy/The Texas Tribune

In the first comprehensive look by a government agency into the Uvalde elementary school massacre, a Texas House investigative committee released a preliminary report Sunday outlining a series of failures by multiple law enforcement agencies in their response at the scene.

The 77-page “interim report,” first made available to the victims’ families, described “an overall lackadaisical approach” by nearly 400 officers who responded, a number of whom were from federal agencies.

Interim Report from Texas House Investigative Committee:

Bodycam footage of first responders that was provided to CNN also gives a closer look at how law enforcement navigated the agonizing 77 minutes at Robb Elementary, which ended as the second-deadliest shooting ever at a K-12 school in the US.

The report found “the entirety of law enforcement and its training, preparation, and response shares systemic responsibility for many missed opportunities.”

According to the report, police who made entry knew there had been gunfire, evidenced by a “cloud of debris” in the hallway, bullet holes in the walls and spent rifle casings on the floor. 

But there was no evidence officers had “any contemporaneous understanding, as they arrived in the building, that teachers and students just then had been shot inside the classrooms.”

It would be more than an hour before officers finally breached the classroom, killing the shooter.

Other Takeaways from the Report:

—’Lack of effective incident command’

—Breakdown in communication

—New video captures confusion and chaos

—New details on shooter’s background

CNN and The Texas Tribune