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ASPartOfMe
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18 Jul 2022, 9:35 am

These are the 4 key takeaways from the Uvalde shooting investigation report

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When an 18-year-old gunman targeted an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, "systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making" on behalf of law enforcement and school officials failed to stop the shooter from killing 19 students and two teachers, a new investigative report found.

Hundreds of law enforcement officials prioritized their own safety over the lives of students and teachers that day as they waited more than an hour to confront the shooter, according to the 77-page report from a Texas House of Representatives committee.

"There were multiple systemic failures," Rep. Dustin Burrows, a Republican member of the investigative committee, said in summarizing its findings at a press conference on Sunday, hours after the report's release.

He warned that those breakdowns in safety aren't just a problem that exists in Uvalde, adding, "some of the same systems that we found here that failed that day are across the entire state and country."

A lack of leadership despite a robust police presence
In all, 376 law enforcement officers arrived at a scene that was chaotic and uncoordinated, the report says. The group of federal, state and local officials lacked any clear leadership, basic communication and enough urgency to take down the gunman, according to the committee.

Previous official accounts of the shooting placed primary blame on the school district's Police Chief Pete Arredondo – who is on administrative leave and has since resigned from his position on the City Council — and other local police.

After arriving at the school, Arredondo fumbled around with and eventually abandoned his radio at the fence, the report stated, reasoning that one of the other sergeants was on the scene and was "fully uniformed" with a radio, he testified to the committee.

Uvalde school district's active shooter policy called for Arredondo to be the incident commander who would've been responsible for leaving the building in order to organize a response and to inform other officers that he was in charge. Instead, Arredondo stayed inside the building.

After Arredondo entered the school, he went to classroom 110, which had bullet holes, but no children were inside. He then "prayed" the kids in rooms 111 and 112, where the gunman fired more than 100 rounds, had been emptied as well, he testified.

They had not been, and Arredondo proceeded to handle the incident as one of a "barricaded subject" and not an active shooter, according to the report.

The report revealed that most of the officers who responded to the incident were from state and federal forces, with 149 from U.S. Border Patrol and 91 from the state police department.

There were 25 city police officers and 16 from the county sheriff's office. Arredondo's school police force comprised five of the officers there.

The committee also faults those officers — "many of whom were better trained and better equipped than the school district police" — who it says should have filled the leadership void when they saw the chaotic scene.

Relaxed school security allowed the gunman to attack quickly
Although Robb Elementary had safeguards and active shooter procedures in place, school staff had developed a culture of complacency around such measures. Out of convenience, some teachers frequently left doors unlocked or propped open — a violation of school policy. Due to a shortage of keys, substitute teachers were often told to circumvent locks.

The school was also set up with an intruder alert system. But the frequency of "bailout" alerts, which flag the presence of fleeing human traffickers in the area, desensitized teachers to their urgency. No prior bailout alert had ever resulted in a violent incident at the school.

On the day of the attack, the gunman scaled a 5-foot tall exterior fence before multiple unlocked doors allowed the gunman to enter the classrooms unimpeded, the report found.

"But had school personnel locked the doors as the school's policy required, that could have slowed his progress for a few precious minutes—long enough to receive alerts, hide children, and lock doors; and long enough to give police more opportunity to engage and stop the attacker," it read.

Instead, the gunman likely killed most of the victims before any responder entered the building, the committee found: "Of the approximately 142 rounds the attacker fired inside the building, it is almost certain that he rapidly fired over 100 of those rounds before any officer entered."

The gunman opened fire in his former 4th grade classroom
At 11:33 a.m., the attacker spent two-and-a-half minutes firing more than 100 rounds into rooms 111 and 112.

Room 111 was the same classroom the gunman attended fourth grade, the report revealed. Just weeks before the attack, the shooter had spoken with an acquaintance about bad memories of fourth grade.

His former fourth-grade teacher, who was in the building at the time of the shooting, told the committee he reported being bullied while in the fourth grade. She consulted with the gunman's mother, and said he eventually began making friends.

The attacker's family testified that he continued being picked on for his clothes and speech impediment. By 2018, when the gunman was in the ninth grade, he had accumulated more than 100 absences and had failing grades. In 2021, when the attacker was 17, Uvalde High School withdrew him.

"It is unclear whether any school resource officers ever visited the home of the attacker," the report said.

When he returned to Robb Elementary on the day of the attack, the shooter was able to enter room 111, as the door was not properly secured, according to the report. The lock on room 111 was known to be faulty, and teachers and students would often enter to use the printer.

"Room 111 could be locked, but an extra effort was required to make sure the latch engaged," the report's authors said.

The teacher of that classroom, who was injured during the shooting, testified that he would often be admonished by school police about the door, and notified school administration, who said a request had been submitted. The teacher never submitted a work order himself, "as was the apparent practice among Robb Elementary teachers," the report said.

On the day of the shooting, the teacher for room 111 said he could not remember receiving an alert about an active shooter or if he used extra effort to secure the door.

The attacker shot his grandmother after an altercation about his phone plan
Before leaving for Robb Elementary School, the gunman and his grandmother had an altercation about his phone that resulted in her making a call to AT&T to remove him from the plan, according to the report.

During the incident, he contacted a female acquaintance in Germany for an hour, and upon hanging up, texted her of his plans to harm his grandmother, the report showed.

"Ima do something to her rn," he wrote, along with "I just shot my grandma in her head" and "Ima go shoot up a elementary school rn."

The acquaintance initially responded with "cool," which she deleted before saying, "I just saw the news."

He shot his grandmother in the face before stealing her truck, despite not having a driver's license, and drove to Robb Elementary.

She survived the attack and was released from the hospital June 29, according to CNN.

The attacker began buying firearms accessories in February, and when he turned 18 in May, spent almost $5,000 on two assault rifles and hollow point bullets, which expand upon impact.

The attacker's uncle drove him to the gun store twice to pick up the rifles, and after his grandmother told him he couldn't keep guns in her home, his uncle allowed him to stow one of the weapons at his house.

The gunman told an acquaintance he hid the second rifle outside of his grandmother's home, and brought it inside the night before the massacre.


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ASPartOfMe
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20 Jul 2022, 9:47 pm

Uvalde shooter exhibited 'almost every warning sign,' expert says

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Private individuals were the only people who knew of the many warning signs he displayed, as he had no criminal history prior to the shooting. The alleged shooter's apparent motive was a "desire for notoriety and fame," according to the report.

Those interviewed by the committee, including family, friends and acquaintances, reported many warning signs that experts say should have raised red flags.

"He exhibited almost every warning sign," John Cohen, an ABC News contributor and the former acting undersecretary for intelligence and counterterrorism coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security, said in an interview. "This guy should have been on everybody's radar."

School officials had identified the accused shooter as "at-risk" academically by the third grade due to consistently poor test results. However, he did not receive any education services, according to the report.

The shooting itself took place in the accused shooter's former classroom. The suspect had discussed bad memories of fourth grade with an acquaintance just weeks before, according to the report.

The suspect's fourth grade teacher told the committee she was aware he needed special help and that he claimed to be a victim of bullying. She met with his mother over these concerns and said she believed he ultimately had a good year and that the classroom was a safe space where he made friends, according to the report.

The suspect's family, however, disputed this account saying that classmates bullied him over his stutter, clothing and short haircut. Some family members also said that some of the teachers picked on the suspect and his cousin, according to the report. Notes found on the alleged shooter's phone indicated that he was bullied beginning in middle school.

Beginning in 2018, the alleged shooter had bad school attendance, with more than 100 absences annually. He also had failing grades and increasingly dismal performance on standardized and end-of-course exams, according to the report.

The committee found that the local court does not regularly enforce truancy rules and it is unclear if any school resource officers ever visited the alleged shooter's home.

Aside from a single 3-day suspension due to a "mutual combat" with a student, the suspect had almost no disciplinary history at school.

By 2021, when he was 17-years-old, the alleged shooter had only completed ninth grade. He was involuntarily withdrawn from Uvalde High School in October 2021, citing poor academic performance and lack of attendance, according to the report.

Last year, the suspect increasingly withdrew and isolated himself. At the beginning of the year, a group of the alleged shooter's former friends "jumped him," according to the report.

His former girlfriend described the alleged shooter as lonely and depressed and said he was constantly teased by friends who called him a “school shooter,” according to the report. He was also called a "school shooter" online due to his comments.

She said he told her repeatedly that he wouldn’t live past 18, either because he would commit suicide or simply because he “wouldn’t live long.” The alleged shooter also responded to their breakup last year by harassing the girl and her friends, according to the report.

The alleged shooter's activity online was also concerning as he began to watch violent and gruesome videos and images of things like suicides, beheadings and accidents.

Later internet usage suggests he may have wondered if he was a sociopath and sought out information on the condition. His internet research resulted in him receiving an email, which was not disclosed from where in the report, about obtaining psychological treatment for sociopathy.

One month into working at Whataburger in 2021, he was fired for threatening a female coworker. He reportedly had a similar experience at Wendy's.

His family and friends were aware of his efforts to buy guns before he was old enough to do so legally. He asked at least two people to buy him guns when he was 17, but they both refused, according to the report.

Jarrod Burguan, the former San Bernardino police chief and ABC News contributor, said the mental health system being a revolving door has not made it effective in forcing treatment and potentially protecting society from these kinds of attacks.

While law enforcement can detain people they suspect pose a potential risk for up to 72 hours (this varies based on state), Burguan said millions of people slip through the cracks.


The mother of the 18-year-old gunman who killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde apologized when confronted Tuesday by relatives of one of the victims
Quote:
A tense confrontation between the mother of the Uvalde school shooter and relatives of one of the children he killed was caught on camera Tuesday.

A Telemundo news crew captured the emotionally charged encounter between Adriana Martinez, the mother of the 18-year-old shooter, and relatives of Uvalde victim Amerie Jo Garza, the network reported.

Reporter Edgar Munoz said in an Instagram post that the meeting was accidental and happened after a community meeting Tuesday.

The video showed Martinez being asked what reasons her son had for the attack that killed 19 children and two teachers.

Martinez said her son had mental health issues. "You have no right to judge my son. No, you don't. No, you don't. No. May God forgive you all," Martinez responded.

Martinez then apologized and called her son a coward.

Telemundo's video showed sheriff's deputies arriving at the scene to de-escalate the situation and escort the mother away.


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“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


auntblabby
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20 Jul 2022, 11:34 pm

why do i get the impression the city fathers/police force are all working to make this fade away?



IsabellaLinton
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20 Jul 2022, 11:44 pm

That's all very sad but I have no sympathy for him, as he had no sympathy for others.



Misslizard
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21 Jul 2022, 11:19 am

So the school thought he had problems years back, why wasn’t something done then?High absentee rate and no one wondered why?What were the school counselors doing?
Lives could have been saved.


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21 Jul 2022, 4:50 pm

In Australia it's called zero-level management. Basically allow a unworkable system run by incompetent people to persist until you get a serious scandal that can't be ignored and then give the appearance you are talking action.

Set up a public inquiry or a consultant to conduct an audit and then pay them thousands of dollars to come to conclusions that everyone already knew.



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22 Jul 2022, 12:56 pm

cyberdad wrote:
In Australia it's called zero-level management. Basically allow a unworkable system run by incompetent people to persist until you get a serious scandal that can't be ignored and then give the appearance you are taking action.

Set up a public inquiry or a consultant to conduct an audit and then pay them thousands of dollars to come to conclusions that everyone already knew.


This is what Vancouver/BC/Canada are doing about our insanely overpriced real estate market - nothing; while trying to give the appearance of doing something. Massive amounts of money laundering ?? Oh really.. you don't say.. and here we all thought that it was just people trying to keep up with the Jones' in bidding bog standard suburban homes up to $1.7M a pop. :roll:


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