Damning New Video and Government Report Shows 'Egregiously Poor' Response to Uvalde School Massacre
The hard-to-watch bodycam footage and a government report show new evidence of disintegrating chaos and inaction.
Damning new bodycam footage and a scathing government report shows nearly 400 law enforcement officers converged on Robb Elementary School in Texas, but did not stop a lone gunman for more than an hour because of “egregiously poor decision making” that left 19 children dead.
The findings of a Texas House investigative committee were released Sunday and are the first to criticize federal and state officers on the scene, and not just local authorities in the southern town of Uvalde, where heavily armed officers stood outside two classrooms while the shooter killed 19 kids and two teachers.
Bodycam video released by the city shows officers yelling, looking at their phones, and waiting around for orders to take down the gunman who is heard firing shots on May 24.
The newly released bodycam footage and government report are the most comprehensive accounts thus far in one of the worst school massacres in American history.
Enraged parents demanded officers be charged for dereliction of duty and blasted them cowards.
"It’s disgusting. Disgusting," said Michael Brown, whose 9-year-old son was in the school's cafeteria on the day of the shooting, but survived. "They’re cowards," he said after a news conference about the report was held on Sunday.
“It’s a joke. They’re a joke. They’ve got no business wearing a badge. None of them do,” said Vincent Salazar, grandfather of 11-year-old Layla Salazar, who was among the dead.
“At Robb Elementary, law enforcement responders failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving innocent lives over their own safety,” the report said.
The gunman fired about 142 rounds inside the school, and it is “almost certain” that at least 100 blasts were unleased before any officer entered adjoining fourth-grade classrooms full of the dead, dying and wounded, the report said.
Numerous failures were listed in the 77-page report, including:
No one took command in the chaos despite 376 officers descending on the school. The responders were 149 agents from the U.S. Border Patrol, 14 from Department of Homeland Security, and 91 Texas Rangers from Department of Public Safety. Also on the scene were 25 members of the Uvalde Police Department, 16 SWAT members of the San Antonio Police Department and 16 deputies from the Uvalde County Sheriff's Office, the report said.
Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo failed to take command. First responders “lost critical momentum” by treating the situation as a "barricaded subject" scenario instead of an "active shooter," the report said. Arredondo “did not assume his pre-assigned responsibility of incident command,” the report said.
He has since been placed on administrative leave and has resigned his new seat on the Uvalde City Council.
Poor Wi-Fi service probably delayed locking down Robb Elementary School. "Not all teachers received timely notice of the lockdown," the report said." "Poor Wi-Fi connectivity in Robb Elementary likely delayed the lockdown alert." The school intercom was not used during the chaos, leaving teachers without immediate notice of what was happening, the report said.
“Other than the attacker, the Committee did not find any ‘villains’ in the course of its investigation,” the report said. “There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making.”
In the bodycam videos, officers can be seen rescuing children through open windows, milling about in the hallways outside the classrooms where the gunman is heard firing, and an officer is heard saying, "Dude, we’ve got to get in there. We’ve got to get in there, he just keeps shooting. We’ve got to get in there."
Nonetheless, the assassin was not taken down until more than 70 minutes later. He died at the scene.
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