A new report on the Uvalde school shooting found that law enforcement failed to swiftly neutralize the 18-year-old gunman because of a “lackadaisical approach” and multiple “systemic failures.”
While some have attempted to pin sole blame on Pete Arredondo, the former head of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police force, the 77-page report released Sunday found that multiple agencies present during the May 24 massacre were at fault.
“There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives,” the report stated. “Instead, we found systemic failures and egregious poor decision making.”
According to the report released by the Texas House of Representatives, chief among those failures was the fact that despite having nearly 400 officers present at the scene, it took law enforcement more than an hour to neutralize the gunman after he stopped foot inside the school.
In total, 376 responding officers were present at Robb Elementary School on May 24. On the federal and state side, there were 149 officers from the U.S. Border Patrol, 14 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and 91 from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
On the local side, there were 25 officers from the Uvalde Police Department, 16 from the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office, 16 from the San Antonio Police Department and five from the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) police force.
According to the report, one of these officers — out of a group of seven agencies spanning federal, state and local authority — should have stepped up and established an incident commander to lead law enforcement’s response.
“In this crisis, no responder seized the initiative to establish an incident commander post,” the report found. “Despite an obvious atmosphere of chaos, the ranking officers of other responding agencies did not approach the Uvalde CISD chief of police or anyone else perceived to be in command to point out the lack of and need for a command post, or to offer that specific assistance.”
The report also stated that law enforcement failed to follow the normal protocol for an active shooter situation.
“They failed to prioritize the lives of innocent victims over their own safety,” the report found.