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Report sheds light on failures surrounding Uvalde school shooting

Uvalde strong
Posted at 5:43 AM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 05:43:07-04

TAMPA, Fla.  — As people continue to look for answers to what happened in Uvalde, Texas, a scathing report released Sunday details the failures and shortcomings surrounding the tragic school shooting.

The report on the Robb Elementary shooting said it “found systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making,” all while detailing the failures of the school district, various agencies, and law enforcement.

“The reality is that we know after looking at school shootings, especially here in Florida and after Parkland, that that critical time is the first two to three minutes,” said Dr. David Thomas, a professor of Forensic Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University and a retired police officer.

In the weeks since the shooting, people across the country have voiced outrage over the response to the incident.

“At Robb Elementary, law enforcement responders failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety," the report said.

“It disturbed me because you had all these officers, you had local, state, and federal, and nobody entered that room,” said Thomas. “That is the first thing. That is 101.”

Thomas explained what should have happened when responding to incidents like this.

“The training has been adjusted because the times are so critical so that the first officer on the scene, it’s usually that person goes, and then as the other officers come in, they go right to that person,” said Thomas. “Theoretically, they’ve all been trained the same, so with that training being the same, it could be a hodgepodge of people from multiple agencies, but all knowing exactly what their job is and what their role is.”

The report said, “Despite the immediate presence of local law enforcement leaders, there was an unacceptably long period of time before officers breached the classroom, neutralized the attacker, and began rescue efforts.”

It goes on to say they don’t know at this time whether responders could have saved more lives by shortening the delay.

Thomas thinks the greatest concern communities should have with schools is for their small towns, pointing to a need to make sure there’s training for those officers.

“I think the reality is that people need to understand it’s not if this is going to happen, it’s when it’s going to happen in that community, and so preparation is the only thing, and practice and repetition is the only thing that’s going to prevent it, at least minimize the impact," said Thomas.

It is an interim report from a Texas House investigative committee. The report said the committee’s work is not finished.

Robb Elementary Investigative Committee Report by ABC Action News on Scribd