On May 24, a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Ulvede County left 19 students and two adults dead. The Ulvede school shooting at a public school in texas state police has claimed the most lives.
The most detailed report by law enforcement response about the shooting says that 376 police officers went to the school. It claims that after the Ulvede school district police chief failed to assume leadership, better-equipped departments should have stepped up to fill the position.
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Robb elementary school
Before going on his Ulvede shooting rampage, the 18-year-old who killed 19 kids and two teachers on May 24 had no firearms training. He chose a Robb elementary school with a long history of doors being propped open and an active shooter policy judged appropriate.
A new study of the event found that “systemic failures and egregiously bad decisions” by almost everyone in a position of power made it so that no one could stop the gunman for the deadliest school shooting in the Texas department.
A family cannot identify warning signs, a school system that had deviated from strict adherence to the safety plan, and a local law enforcement response that disregarded its active shooter training are all depicted in damning detail in the 77-page study, which The Texas Tribune has obtained.
Ulvede school shooting
It explains how the shooter, who investigators think had never fired a gun before that day, could get a lot of military-style rifles, accessories, and bullets without border patrol agents and law enforcement officers getting suspicious. He then entered a supposedly secure school unhindered and shot children and adults regardless of gender.
A total of 376 law enforcement officials converged upon the school in a confusing situation that lasted for more than an hour, a number more significant than the garrison that defended the Alamo. According to the investigation, there was no clear leadership in Ulvede, no essential communication, no police response, and insufficient haste to stop the shooter with training and department requirements.
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Notably, the investigation is the first to date to fault state and federal law enforcement for their inaction. In contrast, other reports and public accounts by officials have directly blamed Ulvede Consolidated Independent School District chief Pete Arredondo for his role as incident commander and other local police who were among the first to arrive.
The report also makes it known for the first time that federal and state law enforcement made up the vast majority of those who responded: 149 were U.S. Border Patrol members, and 91 were state police, whose duties include reacting to “mass attacks in public areas.” There were 16 sheriff’s deputies and 25 police officers in Ulvede.
Five of the cops present were Arredondo’s school police officers. The remaining Federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents, U.S. marshals, and local county law enforcement members made up the remainder of the force.
Investigators say that if there wasn’t a capable person to take over as incident commander, another officer could have and should have done so.
According to the report, “these local politicians were not the only ones expected to provide the leadership needed during this disaster.” Numerous law enforcement agencies sent hundreds of responders to the site, who were better prepared and trained than the school district police.
The additional first responders “may have assisted in addressing the escalating pandemonium.”
In contrast to several contradictory and retractable accounts given by other officials, such as the governor and state police, in the seven weeks following the tragedy, which has damaged citizens’ faith in the ongoing investigations, the trio also aimed to present an accurate narrative to the public.
They initially presented their conclusions to Ulvede citizens on Sunday during a private meeting, dedicating the document to the 21 victims of the massacre.
The report states, “The Committee presents this interim report now, thinking the victims, their families, and the entire town of Ulvede have already waited too long for answers and openness.”
Failures of the Law Enforcement in Ulvede
Police have been under heavy public criticism for their slow response to stop the shooter and other law enforcement officers. At its core, the report echoes criticisms made previously by experts in police tactics, who claimed that police at Robb Elementary retreated after being fired upon and then waited for reinforcements rather than adhering to the doctrine established after the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, which requires that officers immediately confront active shooters.
According to the committee’s assessment, “they neglected to place protecting the lives of innocent victims over their protection.”
The report details several errors made by law enforcement that went far beyond those of a particular commander or agency. They were caused by a lack of leadership and clear communication rather than a lack of talent in the workforce.
In interviews conducted or collected by the committee, police personnel claimed that they thought Arredondo was in control or were unsure of it. Many people called the situation “chaos” or “a cluster,”
The report says that an effective incident commander outside the school could have helped in more than one way. The commander may have figured out that the radios weren’t working correctly and found a better communication method. They might have advised checking to see if the door was locked or discovered a master key to the school to enter the classroom more quickly where the shooter was trapped. Or perhaps they advised the officers to find another entrance to the classroom.
Despite being one of the first cops to enter the school, according to Arredondo, he did not see himself as the incident commander. He claimed he had expected an outside office to perform the duty.
This argument did not convince the committee. The active shooter response plan for the school system, which Arredondo co-authored, was referenced. It specifies that the chief will be the person in control of all law enforcement operations and the responders that arrive at the scene. He was put on administrative leave by the school system last month.
Other officers and law enforcement organizations, many of whom were better trained, were condemned in the study for failing to fill the leadership void left by Arredondo’s inaction.
No responder took the effort to set up an incident command post during this situation, the committee reported. According to the report, “Despite a chaotic environment, the ranking officers of other agencies did not approach the Ulvede chief of police, or anyone else thought to be in command to highlight the lack and need for a command or to offer that specific assistance.
According to Department of Public Safety Commissioner Steve McCraw’s testimony to a Senate committee on June 21, some officers at the scene noticed that Arredondo was not acting like an incident commander.
McCraw had already said that his state troopers couldn’t or shouldn’t have done anything to get rid of Arredondo.
Last month, McCraw told senators, “Let’s assume a DPS captain steps up in a circumstance and decides he’s going to exert authority.” “Well, to start with, he lacks the knowledge. And what about that? He might not be as intelligent as the commander who is on the scene right now. I, therefore, hesitate to promote or even consider any circumstances where you might want some level of hierarchy where a more extensive police department gets to step in and take over.
However, when challenged by Democratic senator Roland Gutierrez, whose district contains Ulvede, McCraw agreed that stopping an active shooter is more crucial than obeying a police officer who is supposed to be the incident commander.
The Official Report
According to the report, Border Patrol officers ultimately opted not to ask Arredondo for permission before entering the school. The standoff ended at 12:51 pm, and the killing team killed the shooter.
Even though the police usually can’t decide what to do, the committee found specific times when police officers acted bravely and on their own.
After entering the school, Lt. Javier Martinez of the Ulvede Police Department tried to approach the shooter but was pushed back by gunshots. With “an apparent desire to maintain momentum and stop the killing,'” he walked up the hallway. He stopped when no officers pursued him. Several law enforcement officials testified to the committee that they thought he might have reached the classroom and interacted with the shooter if others had followed him as support.