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TX Panel Cites 'Systemic Failures,' 'Poor Decision Making' At Uvalde

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

No one was able to stop the gunman, in part because of “systemic failures and egregious poor decision making” by nearly everyone involved who was in a position of power, a Texas House committee investigation found, reports the Texas Tribune.

The committee released on Sunday the most exhaustive account yet of the shooter, his planning, his attack and the fumbling response he provoked.

The report offers a damning portrayal of a family unable to recognize warning signs, a school district that had strayed from strict adherence to its safety plan and a police response that disregarded its own active shooter training.

It outlines how the gunman, who investigators believe had never fired a gun before May 24, was able to stockpile military-style rifles, accessories and ammunition without arousing suspicion from authorities, enter a supposedly secure school unimpeded and indiscriminately kill oeople.

Some, 376 law enforcement officers — larger than the garrison that defended the Alamo — descended upon the school in a chaotic, uncoordinated scene that lasted for more than an hour. The group was devoid of clear leadership, basic communications and sufficient urgency to take down the gunman, the report says.

The investigation is the first so far to criticize the inaction of state and federal law enforcement. Other reports and officials' accounts placed the blame squarely on Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police Chief Pete Arredondo for his role as incident commander and other local police who were among the first to arrive.

The the overwhelming majority of responders were federal and state law enforcement: 149 were U.S. Border Patrol, and 91 were state police — whose responsibilities include responding to “mass attacks in public places.” There were 25 Uvalde police officers and 16 sheriff’s deputies. Arredondo’s police force accounted for five officers.

The investigators said that in the absence of a strong incident commander, another officer could have — and should have — stepped up to the task.

“The Committee issues this interim report now, believing the victims, their families, and tentire Uvalde community have already waited too long for answers and transparency,” the report said.


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