Uvalde police missed several chances to stop school gunman, report reveals

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

A newly released report found Uvalde police missed multiple opportunities to take down the gunman that killed 21 people at Robb elementary in May.

The report, released by Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (Alerrt) Center, said a Uvalde police officer asked his supervisor if he could shoot the gunman that killed students and teachers at Robb elementary, but got no answer.

Related: US mass shootings are getting deadlier and more common, analysis shows

The report also found the police officer, who was armed and outside, requested to shoot the gunman before he entered the building. “Prior to the suspect’s entry into the building at 11:33:00, according to statements, a Uvalde police officer on scene at the crash site observed the suspect carrying a rifle outside the west hall entry. The officer, armed with a rifle, asked his supervisor for permission to shoot the suspect. However, the supervisor either did not hear or responded too late.”

But according to the Texas penal code, the officer did not need to seek permission because the use of deadly force is justified “to prevent the commission of murder”.

Another Uvalde CISD police officer, who was first to arrive on the scene, was speeding through the parking lot. The report stated had the officer driven slower, he might’ve noticed the gunmen and acted before he gained access to the school.

It was also revealed the school was unsecured. Doors to the building were often propped open. A teacher propped open the door the gunman used to enter the building. The same teacher closed it before he entered, but it was unlocked, allowing the gunman access to the school.

Related: Gates, no windows, single entry: can school redesign deter mass shootings?

When the gunman entered room 111, “immediately, children’s screams could be heard along with numerous gunshots in the classrooms. The rate of fire was initially very rapid then slowed, lasting only a few seconds”.

The now-disgraced Uvalde school police chief Pete Arredondo previously said he specifically checked the door of room 111 and that it was locked, but the report found it was never locked because a key was required for the outside of the door.

The lack of response from police and faulty security measures prompted sharp criticism about Uvalde police competence. Arredondo was elected to Uvalde city council, but resigned last week following criticism of his response to the shooting at Robb elementary.

At a council meeting last month, Uvalde’s mayor, Don McLaughlin, announced Robb elementary would be demolished.

“You can never ask a child to go back or teacher to go back in that school ever.”