The 77-page “interim report,” first made available to victims’ families, describes “an overall nonchalant approach” from nearly 400 officers who responded, including a number from federal agencies.
Body camera footage of first responders that was provided to CNN also provides a deeper insight into how law enforcement navigated the agonizing 77 minutes at Robb Elementary, which ended with the second deadliest shooting on record at a K-12 school in the United States.
The report comes after law enforcement was singled out in the wake of the shooting, along with local officials denouncing the lack of transparency and the families of the victims learning piecemeal what could have been done. more to save their loved ones.
Law enforcement shares ‘systemic responsibility’
The report found that “all law enforcement and its training, preparation and response share systemic responsibility for many missed opportunities.”
According to the report, police who entered knew there had been gunshots, as evidenced by a ‘cloud of debris’ in the hallway, bullet holes in the walls and worn rifle casings on the floor .
But there was no evidence that officers had “any contemporaneous understanding upon arrival at the building that teachers and students had been shot inside classrooms.”
According to the committee’s report, first responders “lost their critical momentum” by treating the situation as a “barricaded subject” scenario, which calls for a more measured response compared to an active shooter.
Had they recognized the situation as an active shooter scenario, they should have prioritized “rescuing innocent victims over wasting valuable time searching for door keys and shields to improve the safety of force responders.” order,” the report said.
Of the 376 responders on site, 149 were from the United States Border Patrol, 14 from the Department of Homeland Security and 91 from the Texas Department of Public Safety. The report did not say when officers from each response agency arrived on the scene.
CNN reached out to the Texas DPS, U.S. Border Patrol, Uvalde School District, City Police Department and Uvalde District Attorney for comment, among others.
“Lack of effective incident command”
During a hearing before a Texas Senate committee last month, Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, called the authorities’ response a “dismal failure”, blaming the commander on site, which state authorities identified as a school by District Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo.
“My approach and thinking was responding as a police officer. And so I didn’t title myself,” Arredondo said in the investigative report.
The report also noted that others could have taken command.
Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training “teaches that any law enforcement officer can assume command, someone must assume command, and an incident commander can transfer responsibility as that an incident develops,” the report said.
“This did not happen at Robb Elementary, and the lack of effective incident command was a major factor in other vital actions not being taken,” according to the report.
The report attributed some of the response failures to a communication breakdown, in which information known to some outside the school may not have been passed on to those inside.
“In particular, no one ensured that those who made key decisions inside the building received information that students and teachers had survived the first round of gunfire, were trapped (in the rooms class) and called for help,” the report said.
Robb Elementary had its own issues, according to the investigative report, which found poor WiFi “likely delayed the lockdown alert” on the day of the shooting. Not all teachers received the report immediately and the school intercom was not used to communicate during the lockdown.
“As a result, not all teachers were informed of the lockdown in a timely manner,” the report said.
Additionally, the school had what the report calls “recurring problems” with doors and locks, including the locking mechanism in room 111, which was “widely known to be faulty, but it did not been repaired”.
“Robb Elementary had a culture of non-compliance with security policies requiring doors to be locked, which proved fatal,” the report said.
New video captures confusion and chaos
Dramatic body camera footage first given to CNN by Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin offers a close-up view of law enforcement’s response to the ongoing massacre.
The video aired on CNN on Sunday, the same day the interim report was released. It reveals officers smashing windows and pulling children out of other school classrooms as well as inside a hallway fumbling with keys and failing to open a door near where a gunman controlled two classrooms full of dead, dying and terrified children and teachers.
The footage shows close-ups from just outside classrooms 111 and 112 and reveals conversations between officers and calls for the shooter.
CNN watched hours of body camera footage, including revealing new views of Uvalde’s police sergeant. Daniel Coronado, who was one of the first on the scene at 11:35 a.m., and UPD officer Justin Mendoza.
According to the video, Coronado identifies the shooter as a “male subject with an AR” at 11:39 a.m., minutes after the shooter first entered classrooms and shortly after shooting responding officers. .
There is initial confusion as to whether the shooter was in an office, but a call is made at 11:42 a.m. indicating it is the class of Eva Mireles, a teacher who called to tell her husband, the officer police officer from Uvalde Ruben Ruiz, that she was shot.
Mendoza’s body camera around 12:11 p.m. shows officers learning that BORTAC – a Border Patrol Rapid Response Team – is still 30 minutes away. Around the same time, Coronado’s body camera picks up someone calling the shooter in English and Spanish to turn himself in.
A dispatcher in the Mendoza video can be heard saying there’s a kid on the line from ‘room 12’ talking about a ‘room full of casualties’, which was relayed to acting head of Uvalde PD on the scene, Lieutenant Mariano Pargas, who makes no audible comment.
On Sunday, the city of Uvalde announced that Pargas had been placed on administrative leave to further investigate his role in the law enforcement response. CNN has contacted Pargas for comment and has not received a response.
New details about the shooter’s past
The report did not name the shooter or show his picture, “so as not to glorify him”, he said, but provided information about his background, at home and at school as a student of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.
Although he had “few disciplinary problems”, he struggled academically, having only finished ninth grade at the age of 17. And the school made “no meaningful intervention” before he was eventually involuntarily removed from school for poor performance and excessive absences. October.
Because of these absences, the report said, there was “no information actually known to the school district that should have identified this attacker as a threat to a school campus.”
But the shooter sent messages about the guns to some of his social media contacts, according to the report, and he allegedly suggested he was “going to do something” that they would hear about on the news.
Some users may have reported the behavior to social media platforms, the report says, but the platforms “appear to have done nothing in response.”
Prior to the shooting, various family members of the shooter were aware that he had “requested assistance in purchasing straw firearms, which would have been illegal,” the report said. “Family members uniformly refused to buy guns for him.”
CNN’s Travis Caldwell, Matthew J. Friedman and Elizabeth Joseph contributed to this report.
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