"Systemic failures" and "egregious errors" are at fault according to a new report released by the Texas House on the May 24 Uvalde massacre, in which a lone gunman entered the Robb Elementary School and murdered 19 children and 2 teachers. Leadership, and the lack of a command structure, were also to blame.
There were nearly 400 officers on the scene as the gunman massacred children and teachers for 73 minutes. There were 149 US border patrol agents, 91 state police, 25 Uvalde police, 16 members of the Uvalde sheriff's office, and 5 members of the school district, in addition to members of law enforcement from surrounding communities.
The report, 44 days in the making, comes after the release of surveillance video from the school on that day, which shows that 73 minutes passed between the time the shooter entered the school and when police took out the gunman.
Reports from the press conference indicate that some victims of the shooter could have been saved had officers entered the classroom without waiting over an hour. State Congressman Dustin Burrows said that "the officers who knew or should have know that this was an active shooter situation by their training experience should have done more."
On the day of the massacre, officers on the ground appeared to be unclear as to who was in charge. When officers attempted to go ahead into the room, they were prevented from doing so. School Police Chief Pete Arredondo reportedly said "tell them to f*cking wait."
Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman spoke about the failure of leadership, saying that anyone who is "not willing to put the lives of the people you serve—of those children—before your own... should find another job."
Burrows said during the conference that the school was not prepared for a school shooter despite policies that were in place to prevent mass murder by an unlawful intruder.
"The report does say," reported Fox News, "that it's 'plausible' that some of the victims could have survived if they did not have to wait some 73 minutes before they were rescued."
Burrows said that there was every likelihood that the door to the classroom where the children and teachers were killed, 111 and connecting 112, was unlocked. Initial reports were that the door was locked and a janitor's key was needed for border control officers to open it. Reports at the press conference on Sunday indicated that there might never be an answer, but that it was likely that the door was not locked and could have been breached by officers at any time.
The findings of the report will be used by Texas lawmakers to see what needs to be changed as the new school year approaches to prevent massacres like this from happening again.
The investigation found that many of the security failures in Uvalde were similar to those that can be found across the country.