Uvalde Texas School Shooting
A curtain blows in an open window of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Monday, May 30, 2022. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
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By Lindsay Whitehurst, AP

Since the Columbine High School massacre more than 20 years ago, police have been trained to quickly confront shooters in the horrific attacks that have followed.

But officers in Uvalde, Texas, took more than an hour to kill a shooter who massacred 19 children, a lapse of time that will likely be a key part of a Justice Department probe into the police response.

The rare federal review comes amid growing, agonized questions and shifting information from police. Authorities now say that several officers entered the elementary school just two minutes after alleged gunman Salvador Ramos and exchanged fire with him, but he wasn’t stopped until a tactical team entered a classroom more than an hour later.

That’s a confounding timeline for law enforcement experts like Jarrod Burguan, who was the police chief in San Bernardino, California, when the city was hit by a terrorist attack that killed 14 people in 2015. Officers entered that facility, a training center for residents with developmental disabilities, within two minutes of arriving.

“Columbine changed everything,” Burguan said Monday. Officers are now trained to form up and enter buildings to confront shooters as quickly as possible to prevent them from killing more people. “This has been drilled into this industry for years now.”

Justice Department officials probing the Texas slayings will examine a host of questions about the police response in Uvalde. A similar review that largely praised the response to the San Bernardino mass shooting was over 100 pages long.

In announcing the review, Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said it would be conducted in a fair, impartial and independent manner and the findings would be made public. It could take months. Handling the review is the department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

One key question for Maria Haberfeld, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, is why a school district police chief had the power to tell more than a dozen officers to wait in a hallway at Uvalde’s Robb Elementary.

“The key question for me is, who designated him to be in charge?” she said.

Officials have said he believed the suspect was barricaded inside adjoining classrooms and there was no longer an active threat. But school police officers don’t typically have the most experience with active shooters, and Haberfeld questioned why people with more specialized training didn’t take the reins.

A U.S. Border Patrol tactical team finally used a janitor’s key to unlock the classroom door and kill the gunman, raising more questions about the choice of entry.

“It’s not some fortified castle from the Middle Ages. It’s a door,” she said. “They knew what to do. You don’t need the key.”

The Justice review won’t investigate the crime itself, or directly hold police civilly or criminally liable. What it will likely do is examine things like how police communicated with each other, said Thor Eells, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association. It’s not yet known why the school chief, Pete Arredondo, thought the shooter was barricaded and he hasn’t commented.

“I think we need to be a little patient on that and wait to ensure we understand what that mindset was,” Eells said. “It goes back to communication. What information did they have?”

The review will also likely examine how well officers were prepared with gear like weapons and body armor. The shooter wore a tactical vest and was armed with an AR-15-style rifle, a weapon capable of piercing basic bulletproof vests.

In previous shootings reviewed by the Justice Department, non-specialized law enforcement units did not have the kind of body armor needed to fully protect themselves.

It is unclear what impact the delayed entry into the Texas classroom might have had on any of the children who were wounded and needed treatment more than an hour away in San Antonio.

Police have to quickly analyze the risks to themselves and others in a violent, quickly changing situation — but they’re also trained to stop people from getting hurt, Eells said.

“Making an entry into that room is very, very, very dangerous,” he said. “But we are going to incur that risk, knowingly and willingly, because our priorities are to help those that cannot help themselves.”

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  1. Their tactics I suspect would have been fine had they chosen to utilize them instead of sitting around waiting for something to happen or someone else to take care of business. Most officers are severely institutionalized and cannot take an initiative on their own. Throw incompetent leadership into the mix and you have a disaster like the one we just experienced. Their assertion that they didn’t have proper body armor that would protect them is ridiculous because no body armor is foolproof. They also had active shooter training and had practiced in the school a few months earlier. Most police departments are never going to corner a Navy SEAL, Marine Recon, Army Ranger, or Rambo and it’s safe to assume of all the participants in the event the police will be the best trained and best equipped to handle the threat. At the end of the day they were out fought, and outwitted by a delusional 18 year old boy who had owned the rifle he used to commit mass murder for a few days at most.

  2. “Confounding timeline” aka cowardice. But a border patrol dude drove 40 miles to take the bastard out…

  3. They’re looking into how the the Border Patrols institutionalized racism violated the shooters civil rights.

  4. There is no excuse for not gaining entry and rushing the evil bastard as soon as humanly possible. If you have no visual contact with the children you have no idea whether or not they are dead. As long as that bastard was sucking air there was an immediate threat. I can’t imagine the anger some of these parents must be feeling. God Bless them and God Bless those children.

  5. Get rid of city police and move that money to locally elected Sheriffs who hire local Deputies. Have police “serve” their home community and have them apply for and reapply for their jobs on a regular basis.

    The S.C. says cops don’t have to put their lives on the line to protect people. At least make them put their jobs on the line when they’d rather jerk each other off than stop a shooter from killing kids.

  6. Read this if you want or just read the post featuring Gagliano and then read the original article.

  7. Justice Department Will Cover-up Police Tactics in Delayed Uvalde School Shooting Response

  8. If you guys are outraged now wait till they release the report for this that says they did everything fine.

    • There’s already Cops in Uvalde saying the old tropes of 1994 to justify that year’s Assault Weapons Ban.

      They’re already saying; “We’re Outgunned”.

      Nothing to see here though, move along “Conspiracy Theorists”.

  9. I must point out that when the g
    Gun Control Act was debated and then later passed in 1968 the politicians promised us that it would be the end of violent crime if we just gave them Federal control over everything related to firearms. They were wrong then and they are wrong now. From the gun controllers perspective the true genius of the GCA is the list of prohibited persons. Their plan all along was to eventually make everyone a prohibited person. At the time of the GCA passage the entire prison population in the United States was less than 300,000 and an incredibly small minority of people were convicted felons. Since then legislators have written thousands of new laws creating tens of millions of felons because from a politician’s perspective (Both parties) any single person that’s disarmed is a small victory.

  10. Oh look, they’re going to conduct a probe. That’s almost as good as forming a committee. I feel safer already.

  11. PRE-K to ELEMENTARY school facilities:

    First line of defense is:

    During normal activities\hours, Fortified partitioned areas for participating students, teachers, medical and cafeteria personal. NO other group or individual thereof is allowed access without LEO\SRO chaperon; absolutely no one.

    Main entrance, LEO\SRO, lobby, admin a separate building and screening area before access is allowed to the fortified learning center.

    Any other solution is an after-thought.

  12. And now all the finger pointing and excuses and bold face lies will take months to go over. And of course the State never prosecutes its own henchmen because the cops protect the corrupt Politicians who enslave us and bankrupt us all. Even the Police Chief who should have been immediately been imprisoned will simply get a mild slap on the hands and then fired. Yes its always the working man that gets the shaft in Capitalvania. Only the working man must obey the laws.

    • And yet you want to give those same evil capitalvanian pols and cops the right to control the working man’s guns.

        • Nah, Southern,

          He’d have to think even ONCE to engage in “double think”. Since we know dacian the stupid has never met the process of thinking, “double think” is a sheer impossibility for him.

    • The state doesn’t prosecute its own henchmen because they’ve never passed laws making what their henchmen do or don’t do illegal. The Supreme Court has even said that law enforcement in America has no legal obligation to do anything for anyone and they cannot be held accountable for failure to do something. I believe the Supreme Court has had 54 individual cases before it where people were trying to sue the police for dereliction of Duty and every single case has had the same kind of ruling. There was a book out for a while called Call 911 and die that gave a breakdown of all of the Supreme Court rulings dealing with police dereliction of Duty or negligence.

      • It will be interesting to see if the 11 counts against the coward cop in Florida at the Stoneman High School massacre is put where he belongs and that is in prison for the rest of his life.

  13. Looking into my magic crystal ball, I see….

    Leadership that slept well at night in the false belief that bad things only happen other places. Sure, they will allow token training on serious events. However, they will reorient all of the participants with “I certainly hope we will never need this and we can’t let our fears override our awareness for daily concerns.” His leadership was on display in all of the photos and videos of the officers standing around outside while the threat was inside.

    The school staff was well aware of the procedures for maintaining a secure facility but chose to prop open a door because who has the time to carry a key with them to the playground and then you have to let every kid inside to use the restroom.

    And the school resource officers arrived praying someone else was on the on-scene commander. (I read in one report that the Uvalde school system has 8 schools but only 6 officers). They wouldn’t mind being 3rd or 4th in the stack but they are definitely not paid enough to go in on point.

    And the district administration has penciled in “security updates” as priority number 37 on the budget requests. Just after “new nets on the basketball rims” and just before “new pencil sharpeners in the library.”

  14. I can see it already: the DOJ probe will conclude that responding officers conducted themselves perfectly and did absolutely nothing wrong, that we need a laundry list of new federal gun laws, and also that climate change needs to be immediately addressed to prevent such attacks in the future (somehow).

    Remember, this is the same DOJ that, via the FBI, claimed that parents attending school board meetings to peacefully voice disagreement with racist curriculum were “domestic terrorists”

  15. What exactly is a “school district police chief”?

    Is this a city employee cop of some rank? Or a school employed in some imaginary department?

    • https://www.ucisd.net/keepucisdsafe

      The School District has their own police dept! That is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. The City of Uvalde has a police dept and the school has a parallel pretend police dept. In a town pop under 16k.

      Then there is the Uvalde Co Sheriff and, apparently, hordes of Feds running around. Too bad 10% aren’t enforcing our border laws.

      • I do not know the history of that school district. My assumption is at one time there may have been a lot of violence, drugs, gangs, so to alleviate the burden on the city police they formed their own in house cop shop. ? The emergency number is still 9one1, a transfer just means more delay, I don’t know. Sounds fcked up to me.
        Or yah suppose it was just another way for the school to get some more money, nah.

      • They have their own school police department but allegedly had to find a janitor who could give them keys to the locked doors

  16. Every state ought to have an equivalent of the UCMJ so government employees can be tried for dereliction of Duty amongst other things.

    Don’t like it, be a mall cop.

  17. The blind about tobe taughtbythedumb, blind and deaf. Its DOJ that promotes this mentality and these initiatives.
    Euvaldes PD made a wrong call (hostage v active shooter). Let them pay with their lives

  18. It’s not some fortified castle from the Middle Ages. It’s a door,” she said. “They knew what to do. You don’t need the key.”

    I dont normally go after anyone here, but there was a contributor who posted about 50 times in the comments. He responded to me asking me how I would get to the room. Its a locked door. if thecops cant figure that, resign

    • Don’t cops have a ram to break doors? A steel tube with handles filled with concrete.

      Or use door breaching rounds from a shotgun either into the lock or into the hinges.

      • Or… and this is just me spitballing ideas here… in a school system that small… every officer should have a master key that allows access to the building and every shelter-in-place space. That would cost less than a McD’s value meal. There are only 6-8 cops in the Uvalde School System PD.

      • That’s not the way to do it SC.
        You drive through the front door, pump her full of flammable cs gas, back the tank out, wait about five minutes then hit the school with incendiary rounds.
        You’d have thunk, being in Texas and all,

  19. Once again, as I’ve pointed out before… the very uncomfortable stats no one in the anti-gun community wants to talk about or expose instead choosing to extol the virtues of ‘school shooting’ procedures and blaming ‘guns’… using school shootings over the last 30 years…

    1. Over 60% (varies up to 80%) of those killed or injured in ‘mass school shootings’ were killed or injured within 30 feet of a ‘lock down safe’ areas. The areas were already locked down and they can’t get in because the ‘procedures’ are not to open the doors once locked until police come get you.

    2. Over 50% of those killed or injured in ‘mass school shootings’ had tried to escape the school and flee and could have done so safely but were stopped by school staff and sent back into the school to a ‘lock down safe’ area (that was already locked down) and encountered the shooter along the way. Basically, they were sent back into the ‘kill zone’ by school staff.

    3. 80% of school shooters inside the school are encountered by school staff on average about 5 minutes before the shooting starts, and no one does anything to stop the shooter because they can’t because they do not have the means to do so other than a physical assault so they run to implement ‘lock down procedures’.

    4. 62% of school staff when shooting commences flees the school classrooms, and the school, leaving the kids alone.

    5. The average minimum time for police to enter the school and stop the shooter after arrival on scene is ~15 minutes. During that ~15 minutes the shooter has cart blanch to do as they please and about 35% more kids are killed or injured during that ~15 minutes.

    6. The average ‘complete lock down’ time after the alarm is sounded is ~3 minutes. ~25% of school staff is not aware of the ‘lock down’ alarm until, on average, ~8 minutes after its initially sounded.

    In short, over 80% of kids killed or injured in ‘mass school shootings’ in the last 30 years would not have been killed or injured if they had been allowed to flee the school.

    Can lock downs save lives? Yes, some.

    Do lock downs save lives? NO! And why is that? Its because ‘targets’ confined to an area is a target area known to contain targets. All the school shooter has to do is ‘hunt’ the ‘lock down’ areas for a good chance at guaranteed targets of opportunity thanks to school staff and ‘lock down’ procedures.

    What school procedures are actually designed to do, although physically maybe keeping the shooter away from some kids, is delay the shooter from reaching a majority of targets until the police can stop the shooter. They are not actually designed to save lives even if they do save some lives that are lucky enough to be kept safe in a lock down area. If school procedures were as ‘comprehensive’ and life saving as they are claim to be over 80% of kids killed or injured in ‘mass school shootings’ in the last 30 years would not have been killed or injured.

    So the next time you see someone say something like “school lock down procedures saved lives” ya kinda need to take that with a bit of a grain of salt.

    This event at Uvalde is yet another example of how ‘school shooting’ procedures can cause the most killings and injuries (e.g. wounding), or increase risk to victims.

    “a school district police chief had the power to tell more than a dozen officers to wait in a hallway” he had that power because the ‘procedures’ dictated him to be in charge.

    “Authorities now say that several officers entered the elementary school just two minutes after alleged gunman Salvador Ramos and exchanged fire with him, but he wasn’t stopped until a tactical team entered a classroom more than an hour later.” – an hour later, ’cause, basically, ‘procedures’ dictated “a school district police chief” to be in charge.

  20. ” ‘Making an entry into that room is very, very, very dangerous,’ he said. ‘But we are going to incur that risk, knowingly and willingly, because our priorities are to help those that cannot help themselves.’ ”

    Ok, here’s the deal. You show up to a dangerous situation, are trained, are capable, then you do the friggin job. You don’t sit around for an hour while some pretend-cop-political-position-feel-good “school district police chief” is in “charge” and obviously can’t do the job. You show up, you do the job no matter how dangerous it is – after all that’s what you are claiming, that you showed up because of the danger to others. If you can’t do that then don’t show up and quit now.

    I can’t get over the thing about the door. Tactical teams are trained to breech locked doors, not wait around for a key. Sure, entry can be dangerous but its a danger you were supposedly ready to accept when you showed up, its what you were supposedly trained for, its what you are supposedly capable of dealing with, so your own personal danger is not a factor as supposedly you are already prepared and have accepted it by being where you are in the position you are in.

    You had a plethora of man power, training, capability, and equipment – yet you let a pretend-cop-political-position-feel-good “school district police chief” and the lack of a key subject these kids and staff to further danger. And stop it with the ‘information’ excuse – you knew where the shooter was, you knew what was happening – you had all the information you needed to act but didn’t.

    It would maybe been a little different had you actually tried to breech the door and for some reason the door was some weird super-reinforced thing designed to withstand a nuclear strike – then maybe the delay of maybe a few minutes could be justified in some way. But an hour, for a key and some “school district police chief”? It was a normal door that tac teams train to breech.

    Every one of you guys who sat around in the hallway for an hour while kids were being killed or wounded and subjected to further danger to their lives, breech the damn door and kill the shooter – you’re cowards for following the direction of that“school district police chief”.

  21. Wonder what would have happened if the parents declared themselves as a citezens militia and told the cops to get the fck outta here?

    • Individually some parents did try to enter but cops stopped them.
      Now had a group, well regulated militia, tried to enter, the end results may have been different.

  22. Schools are hard wired against violence even when it’s the best or only solution to an already violent situation. I think that explains the Uvalde school police chief’s unwillingness to use force against the murderer. If a student took out a mass murderer hand to hand or with an improvised weapon (not relevant to Uvalde because of the children’s ages), I wouldn’t put it past the school administration to punish him for fighting. I think it appropriate to ask them, “How many lives are you willing to sacrifice on your altar of non-violence?”

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