Sandy Hook Slaughter: Could the Police Have Prevented The Spree Killing?

(courtesy courant.com)

“In the five years since 20 students and six educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Connecticut State Police have been unable to complete a report that law enforcement across the country look for when preparing for future incidents of extreme violence,” cbsnews.com reports. While I have nothing but contempt for Sandy Hook hoaxers . . .

the delay suggests that the Connecticut State Police are engaged in some kind of cover-up, most likely of their own incompetence. Check this:

The status of [the State Police’s] after-action report, which would likely include analysis of any mistakes made during the police response, is a mystery — as first reported by the Hartford Courant.

Former State Police Col. Danny Stebbins, who before his retirement in 2014 oversaw the investigation into the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting, said in a phone call with CBS News that a draft of the after-action report was completed at least two and half years ago . . .

In response to questions from CBS News, a spokeswoman for the Connecticut State Police confirmed that a draft of the after-action report was completed, but that it has yet to be cleared by [Connecticut State Police commissioner Dora] Schriro.

The spokeswoman said the agency is unable to provide an estimated completion date, and wouldn’t comment on which departments or troopers are still working on the report.

The delay raises questions about the State Police response to the spree killer’s attack. Quoting “sources familiar with the [unreleased] preliminary report,” the Courant highlights several issues, including this:

State police dispatchers at Troop A in Southbury were inundated with calls from troopers seeking directions to the school, causing calls to be transferred to the Litchfield barracks, which could have led to critical delays in response.

The attack’s official timeline reports that the school called 911 at 9:35am. A Newtown police officer arrived on the scene just four minutes later. The “final shot” is heard one minute after that. Four minutes after the shot, nine minutes after the first 911 call, two officers enter the school.

According to this sequence of events, three Newtown officers “lost” one minute of time when they could have entered the school and interrupted/eliminated the shooter.

Who knows how many students could have been saved if the first or eventual three Newtown police officers had proceeded straight to the shooter? But we know that not doing so was a mistake.

A strategic error that police around the country have been warned against, with the Columbine massacre held as an example of what not to do.

As for the State Police and their missing report, we don’t know exactly when their officers arrived on scene. I suspect that the admission that there “might” have been “critical delays in response” accounts for the CT State Police’s ongoing and shameful lack of transparency.

The Sandy Hook spree killing could have been — should have been — a teachable moment.

We know for a fact that the killer, a deranged boy with a lifelong history of serious mental health issues, was ignored, neglected and isolated; allowing his murderous plans to fester. We know that Sandy Hook Elementary school was completely defenseless against an armed attack.

And we must suspect that the police response to the attack was less-than-ideal.

We owe it to the memory of all those who lost their life in the attack to face any and all shortcomings that enabled this horrific violence. A debt that I suspect will never be paid.

 

comments

  1. avatar DaveL says:

    Let’s not beat around the bush here. The State Police aren’t unable to complete the report. They aren’t unable to provide a completion date. They’re unwilling to do so.

    Not that I begrudge them losing a single minute in their response. It’s not realistic to expect an optimal response to every unusual and unexpected situation.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      I’d say it’s complete, but Dora doesn’t like the result and wants it buried.
      By the time the author retired in 2014, he’d had ample time to get it perfect.
      But since Dora still hasn’t accepted it three years later, it’s still a “working draft”.
      Maybe Dora’s forced retirement is long overdue?


      In response to questions from CBS News, a spokeswoman for the Connecticut State Police confirmed that a draft of the after-action report was completed, but that it has yet to be cleared by [Connecticut State Police commissioner Dora] Schriro.

  2. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    This is why its is called “fake news”. The murders did happen. But every thing else after that is just a series of liars trying to cover up their incompetence. And the press as well is covering up for incompetent government people.

    The best way to keep guns away from teachers who could have stopped this evil doer, is to produce fake news stories about how effective the police and the government are in “preventing this” in the future.

    1. avatar Mandoo Mike says:

      Prove the murders took place. Betcha can’t. I’ve studied this hoax for years, I live in Connecticut, HOAX!!

  3. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    If you think this one’s bad wait till you (don’t) see the LV one!

  4. avatar Geoff PR says:

    ““In the five years since 20 students and six educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Connecticut State Police have been unable to complete a report that law enforcement across the country look for when preparing for future incidents of extreme violence,” cbsnews.com reports.”

    Does Connecticut have ‘Government in the Sunshine’ laws?

    File a lawsuit and demand they produce the report, or the date it will be completed…

  5. avatar Adub says:

    Time is a funny thing. It speeds up and slows down when you least expect it.

    A four minute response time to shots fired isn’t bad. Police cars can’t break the laws of physics.

    A minute to get out of the car, grab your gear, get a heavier vest on, and get ready, isn’t bad.

    Then you hear a gunshot, or get the call, and people start wondering what to do and who’s in charge. Four minutes later you go in. Still not awful. If somebody was going to bleed out that fast, an extra minute might not have helped.

    I can’t fault the police. I can fault the shooter and his whack job mother who alienated the boy from his well-adjusted father and brother.

    I can fault the principal who died because she didn’t have a gun to defend her flock. These days, schools are run by liberal women who refuse to accept that evil exists and that violence must be used to combat it.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      “These days, schools are run by liberal women who refuse to accept that evil exists and that violence must be used to combat it.”

      But not always. Even when there are formal “gun-free-zone” rules schools sometimes have tacit understandings that someone, maybe a principal, maybe a teacher, maybe a coach, is armed. Nobody, but nobody, talks about this and this is especially true of the people who are carrying despite what the rules say.

  6. avatar Bob Watson says:

    “Could the Police Have Prevented The Spree Killing?”

    Yes, all we have to do is give law enforcement complete control over all aspects of every citizen’s life and we can eliminate bad behavior. I would prefer to bow down before our robot overlords, but that does not seem to be an option in the near future.

  7. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    The timely arrival of law enforcement is usually measured on an “after the fact” basis…not the prevention of a crime.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      ^That. Right there.
      Unless an officer intercepts a criminal en route to the intended setting of a crime, they have prevented nothing.
      An attentive armed citizen, on the other hand, might see an unstable-looking type with a rifle approaching and have time to ready herself with her weapon, that would fit the definition of “prevention”.

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    Good lord all this blaming the murdered mother. WTF is wrong with all of you?!? She had a difficult situation-something I’m quite familiar with. The crazy psychopathic kid needed to be institutionalized. I have a 40 year old son who has a BS felony committed in an insane haze. Non-violent. Cops need to “get home safe”. They really don’t give a damn. Look at Orlando. 3 and a half freakin’ hours. Or a certain HS in Colorado…all I got is HOME SCHOOL.

    1. avatar Adub says:

      Maybe some of us also have personal experience in these matters and do not take her side. The kids were split up, the father and other brother were well-adjusted. Reports indicate otherwise for her and Adam.

      If she thought he was dangerous enough to be involuntarily committed, there should not have been firearms in the house.

  9. avatar Detroiter says:

    Three words:

    Fear of lawsuit

    I agree: don’t blame the cops, blame the shooter, but there are more than a few lawyers thinking about a payday.

  10. avatar unclejumbo says:

    As an LEO (retired) I trained for response to school shootings. What we learned from Columbine is not to wait for the tactical team. Training did specify to wait for at least two, preferably three officers before making entry.

    What we’re seeing from CT State Police is what we’re seeing from government across the country. Contempt for the citizenry. There seems to be a prevailing attitude in government that we answer to them as opposed to them answering to us.

    1. avatar Mandoo Mike says:

      The US has become a police state!! Is it not obvious?

  11. avatar JW says:

    From above:

    “Could the Police Have Prevented The Spree Killing?”

    Yes, all we have to do is give law enforcement complete control over all aspects of every citizen’s life and we can eliminate bad behavior. I would prefer to bow down before our robot overlords, but that does not seem to be an option in the near future.

    I think the above optimistic. Prisons fit this model – but are not safe places free of bad behavior.

    There is evil.

    And, of course, criminals got to criminal.

    1. avatar DaveL says:

      I would put it this way: when people talk about trading freedom for safety, the freedom and the safety usually belong to different groups of people.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Nicely said!

  12. avatar Quest says:

    When I reviewed the Sandy Hook FBI documents released via FOIA a month or two back, I came across some hitherto unknown information about how the authorities response to the events. Namely, 4 (or more) individuals received death threats by phone, from an individual self identified as “Adam Lanza,” a day or two prior to the massacre. I don’t believe the FBI documents mention whether these people contacted the police about these threats, but I think it highly likely that at least a few did.

    No law enforcement personnel were noted to have followed up on these threats prior to the massacre. Those who were aware of these death threats and took no action are in part responsible for the Sandy Hook tragedy.

    I don’t think anyone has brought up these points yet, but I suggest you to check the documents, confirm my points and push that those who dropped their responsibilities be held accountable for their actions. There are responsible parties to this tragedy besides Adam Lanza, and it is about time, five years too late, that we identify them…

    1. avatar Mike B in WI says:

      Do you have a link to those documents?

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        I place my bet on NO.

      2. avatar DaveL says:

        Here’s Part 1 of 3.

        What a mind-numbing read. Almost all of it is redacted*, but I believe he might be referring to 4-NH-2619946 Serial 34. However that refers to calls made December 16th, 2 days after the shooting.

        *Was it really necessary to hide the name of the agent who interviewed a woman who walked her dog in the woods and saw a man she thought was a hunter? This kind of banal secrecy is really nothing more than a big F-you to the courts and to Congress over the FOIA, and should not be tolerated.

        1. avatar Quest says:

          You are correct about those dates! The threatening calls were made after the massacre, so I apologise for spreading false information and ask that my comment be moderated away if possible.

  13. avatar Nicky says:

    My theory is that the cops are afraid of the response to the AAR, not because they screwed up really badly, but because people will blame them in order to make sense of what were possibly the most shocking murders since 9/11. The citizens of the United States demanded the blood of those responsible, but there was none to be given. They demanded answers, but those answers were all lost when Lanza killed himself.

    There was no one for the masses to scream blame at after Lanza killed himself. Blaming a dead body doesn’t give people the righteous indignation and smug anger that a public witch burning does. People wanted to blame his mom, but she was dead too. They tried blaming his dad, but the shooter had purposefully estranged himself from the guy. They tried blaming autism, but predatory agression like this is so rarely seen in autistic people, that whole argument fell flat. Tried (and still try) blaming guns, gun owners, the NRA, gun companies.

    Even the smallest of errors, things that could have saved seconds, will be subject to a public flogging for all first responders involved. The fact is that the closest cop had pulled into the school 60 seconds before the shooting ended, and 3 1/2 minutes after the first 911 call. The response time was picture perfect, but there was nothing more to be done besides heroically (and suicidally) hurtling himself into an unknown situation with unknown numbers of gunman in unknown positions with zero backup.

    Sadly, the media will demand heads roll when they finally read the AAR.

    1. avatar gp says:

      “so rarely seen in autistic people”

      He was violent? Couldn’t have been autistic then. He’s not a True Scotsman!

      Autists always get a pass. Blameless by definition.

  14. avatar ironicatbest says:

    , ,, see BS news, yup, there you have straight from the broadcaster

  15. avatar the phantom says:

    how do you prevent a non-event?

  16. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    “We know for a fact that the killer, a deranged boy with a lifelong history of serious mental health issues, was ignored, neglected and isolated; allowing his murderous plans to fester.”

    About time TTAG acknowledged not only the crazies out there, but also the need for attention and intervention to prevent them from acting on their murderous plans. Alas, 2A absolutism will rear its impracticable head and foreclose any preemptive action.

  17. avatar Jhon says:

    The tinfoil hat brigade will be here soon enough to tell us all it didn’t happen. 3….2….1….

  18. avatar Gman says:

    At this point what f-n difference does it make? Who is responsible for these events? The shooter. What condition allowed him to freely murder little children? Gun Free Zones. There is no learning from the left. They blame inanimate objects and all the while more kids die. Principal Dawn Hochsprung was one of the first to die. She died with a cell phone in her hand. I wonder, if asked now, if she would trade that cell phone for a gun?
    These are no longer outlier events. They are a very real possibility at any where school USA. As long as the left continues to support gun free zones and prevent teachers and faculty and other adults from carrying then they will continue and all the blood that follows is on their hands. But good luck getting a lefty government to admit that.

    1. avatar Jbw says:

      I have always wondered what would have happened if one of the adults who were killed that day had been armed. Why do we protect our children with a gun free zone sign instead of armed guards?

  19. avatar Aaron says:

    The fact that the cops haven’t completed their report means something happened that is embarrassing for them.

    Furthermore, we already know that Sandyhook could have been prevented – the police were warned a couple of years before the incident that Adam Lanza had said he wanted to shoot kids at Sandyhook (surprised the article didn’t mention that fact). We already know that Adam Lanza was a nutcase and was getting weirder and weirder while his mom was apparently in denial.

  20. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Are we assuming that law enforcement is formed of the people currently holding those positions?

    Then the answer is not only could they probably not have prevented it, the answer is probably that they didn’t want to be troubled to prevent anything.

  21. avatar Icabod says:

    You wonder if the building had been “hardened.” There are photos showing doors with large windows that have been shot out.
    Lanza shot out a glass panel by the front door. Bars and grates on locked doors might have slowed the him. The principal died when she rushed to the sound of the shots. Had she carried a gun would that have changed things?
    I taught school for a number of years. Most classrooms had windows that opened on to hallways and open spaces. One of my tasks was to stand on a counter and tape paper over the windows. As I told the administrators, this was where I’d die. Would installing blinds on the windows have been better? Sorry, there was no money. To secure the door I was supposed to open the door, go outside, lock the door and go back inside. Found a strap that fit on the inside of the door and secured it. Nope no money. Last, the school tried to lock the doors. Only entry was the front door. People complained. Those that were moving during class would get locked out. Students would open a door for literally anybody.
    Since Sandy Hook there have been four similar school shootings. (Four or more killed at the school itself). In the United States there are around 140,000 schools of various types (public, private charter, etc.) How much money is there to build a secure school?

  22. avatar Mk10108 says:

    Sad fact is police serve themselves and protect their pensions. A uniform and badge does not make a protector but creates a variable tax collector.

    Four minutes confirming bones make bad bullet protectors while a LEO stands outside the kill zone listening to rounds while knowing children being slaughtered. There ‘s a special place in hell for that son of a bitch.

    The fact is fear stop law enforcement from stopping the carnage and there is no mandate they do so. In addition school administrators lived in a bubble that evil doesn’t exist and perceived security measures were adequate.

    F everyone for knowing what needed to be done and taking no action then or now.

  23. avatar Aletheia Lifton says:

    The first officers on scene failed to declare an MCI (mass casualty incident). They literally, to a man, did not tell their dispatcher they had discovered rooms full of injured people. Mark these next words carefully:

    Many children had survivable wounds. They died, 17 minutes from a first-class trauma care facility, because they were not transported to it.

    The men who failed to declare an MCI were not CSP — they were Newtown police officers. For 30 interminable minutes, Newtown dispatcher Bob Nute thought there was “one woman with a foot wound.” By the time he found out third hand, via an EMT, that this was a mass casualty incident requiring mass casualty protocol, victims had been bleeding for half an hour; it would be another half hour before Nute’s now-hastily-summoned mutual aid (regional ambulances) began to arrive. The Golden Hour, as it is referred to in some medical circles, was gone.

    *Why* Newtown officers went into virtual radio silence instead of making their most important transmission of the day is another story, but it is sufficient, for the purposes of understanding Governor Malloy’s 5 year cover-up, to grasp that the state police, upon insisting that they “overtake” the emergency response, unwittingly inherited 27 wrongful death suits. That is why Danbury States Attorney Stephen Sedensky, in compiling the state’s one and only “report” on Sandy Hook acted not like a genuine investigator, but like a defense lawyer for the state (which was in fact his exact, though secret, role for the next year).

  24. avatar Mandoo Mike says:

    Child safety is incredibly important. However, it is only too fair for those parents who have kids in schools PAY every year that kid is in school for more, MORE security. It’s the only way. I have no kids in school, why do I pay? You have kids, YOU pay. Don’t give me any harebrained scheme why I should pay, either. YOU pay, not me.

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