An investigative report on the May 24 Uvalde, Texas, school shooting spread blame across every law enforcement agency responding to the attack, faulting local police for mistakes and more experienced agencies for failing to take charge.
The Washington Post reports that nearly 400 local, state and federal law enforcement officers were at the scene that day, including 91 state troopers — but none of moved to lead the response, the Texas House of Representatives report said.
The school district police chief, Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, wrote its active-shooter response plan and assigned himself as incident commander but did not follow the protocol he had set up, the report said.
“The void of leadership could have contributed to the loss of life as injured victims waited over an hour for help, and the attacker continued to sporadically fire his weapon,” the 77-page report says.
Nineteen students and two teachers died in the shooting attack. The shooter, by Salvador Ramos, 18, was killed when police eventually broke into a classroom.
“Other than the attacker, this report did not find any ‘villains’ in the course of its investigation. There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives,” the report said. “Instead, we found systemic failures and egregious[ly] poor decision making.”
Rather than isolate blame on Arredondo, the report casts a broader net of responsibility over “the entirety of law enforcement … on that tragic day.”
“Hundreds of responders from numerous law enforcement agencies — many of whom were better trained and better equipped than the school district police — quickly arrived on the scene,” the report says. “Those other responders, who also had training on active shooter response and the interrelation of law enforcement agencies, could have helped to address the unfolding chaos. Yet in this crisis, no responder seized the initiative.”
MORE: Read the entire 77-page report. (Austin American-Statesman)