Report: Officer asked for permission to shoot Uvalde gunman, but didn't get a response
UVALDE, Texas - A new report from the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University looked at the response during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde in May.
The report says there were missed opportunities to stop the gunman who killed 21 people and injuring 17 others.
"I definitely don't want to armchair quarterback anything because I wasn't there. However, from the all the reports that are coming out and the briefings and everything, is nothing went right. They didn't do a single thing right. They didn't respond in the way law enforcement is trained to respond," Ryan Searles, Senior Consultant Security Assessment and Protective Services with IMEG Corp, said. "If that response was handled in the way it was supposed to be, they could have saved lives."
Searles specializes in security assessment and active shooter mitigation and gave his analysis. The report points out several issues.
One, after a teacher propped open a door and closed it, it didn't lock. Two, an Uvalde schools police officer drove through the parking lot at a high rate of speed and didn't see the gunman. Three, an officer saw the suspect carrying a rifle before he went into the school. The officer asked his supervisor for confirmation to shoot but didn't get a response.
The report says according to law, "the officer was justified in using deadly force to stop the attacker."
"You take the shot. That's your job," Searles said.
The timeline says the gunman fired over 100 rounds the first three minutes he was in the classroom.
ALERRT says they don't believe one of the classroom doors was locked. There were officers at both ends of the hallway, which could've caused crossfire, and another issue was "losing momentum."
The report reads, "the gunfire caused both teams of officers to retreat from the doors. We note that the officers did not make contact with the doors (i.e., they never touched any part of the doors)."
Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo told The Texas Tribune in June the door was locked, and that not a single officer ever hesitated.
ALERRT teaches first responders two steps: stop the killing and stop the dying.
They say, "we expect officers to assume risk to save innocent lives."
"Definitely missed opportunities. The object of stopping the killing first is that's the driving force, right? So when you respond to an active shooter event, your priorities are to stop the killing and stop the dying. Stop the killing. In order to do that, you have to do three things. You either isolate, neutralize or distract the shooter," Searles said.
The report says officers could've used other ways like the window to return fire at the gunman. It says, "While we do not have definitive information at this point, it is possible that some of the people who died during this event could have been saved if they had received more rapid medical care."
"There's always secondary entry points. You have to consider that. There are more ways to do things. Let's not just make entry through a door. Can we get a clean shot through a window, or what's the makeup of the room? Can we get a clean shot from different angles?" Searles said.
For the full report, click here.