Report finds Uvalde officer asked for permission to shoot gunman, got no answer

A new report was released on Wednesday that includes a detailed timeline and more information about the shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24 including information that a Uvalde officer had asked for permission to shoot the gunman before he entered the school but got no answer, according to The Associated Press.

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The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (ALERRT) at Texas State University released the first part of its report on the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that led to the deaths of 19 students and two teachers.

According to the AP, some of the 21 victims “could have been saved” on May 24 if medical attention was received sooner as law enforcement waited over an hour before “breaching” the classroom, ALERRT found.

“A reasonable officer would have considered this an active situation and devised a plan to address the suspect,” according to the AP from ALERRT’s report.

According to ALERRT, the officer had a rifle and asked his supervisor for their permission to shoot the suspect. “However, the supervisor either did not hear or responded too late. The officer turned to get confirmation from his supervisor and when he turned back to address the suspect, he had entered the west hallway unabated,” which was learned during an interview with an investigating officer. Texas state law says a person is “justified in using deadly force when the individual reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary to prevent the commission of murder (amongst other crimes),” according to ALERRT’s report. It basically means that the officer was allowed to shoot regardless.

The report from ALERRT is 26 pages and the majority of what ALERRT found was from video from the school, police body cameras, information from interviews with officers who were on the scene and other statements from investigations, according to the AP.

Here is what ALERRT found, according to the AP:

  • None of the officers in the hallway tried to see if the door to the classroom was locked or unlocked. The AP said that the head of the Texas state police “faulted officers on the scene for not checking the doors.”
  • ALERRT said that officers had weapons, body armor, backup and training while the victims had nothing.
  • When officers finally entered the classroom at 12:50 p.m., “they were no better equipped to confront the gunman than they had been up to that point,” said the AP.
  • “Effective incident command,” according to the AP, was never established. This is when law enforcement agencies establish a hierarchy of who is in charge and other coordination.

The report from ALERRT also looked into the testimony of the Texas Department Public Safety’s Col. Steven McCraw who told Senate that the police response in Uvalde on that day was an “abject failure,” according to the AP. McCraw even blamed Chief Pete Arredondo whom was the on-scene commander who he believed stopped officers from confronting the gunman earlier.

According to the AP, the report claimed that Arredondo and another officer spent over 13 minutes in the school hallway discussing options such as using snipers and how to get into the classroom windows.

“The report is focused on the first phase of active shooter response (Stop the Killing). The report provides a detailed timeline from the time that the suspect crashed his car until the suspect was shot and compares responder actions to what ALERRT trains responders to do. Future reports will address the second phase of active shooter response (Stop the Dying) and incident command,” said ALERRT.

ALERRT is a program that has trained over 200,000 first responders since 2002 in rapid response, such as an active attack like the one at Robb Elementary School, ALERRT said on Facebook.

Robb Elementary School Attack Response Assessment and Recommendations by National Content Desk on Scribd

Check back for more on this developing story.