Report on Uvalde school shooting leaves community members frustrated
UVALDE, Texas - An in-depth investigative report into the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that left 21 dead has been released to the public along with surveillance footage from inside the school.
The footage was leaked to the public days before the report was released, but a private viewing was held for families of victims before its official release.
The Texas House Investigative Committee's (HIC) more than 70-page report takes a detailed look at the timeline of the day of the shooting.
Rep. Dustin Burrows, Chair of the HIC on the Robb Elementary School shooting, summarized the report with three words – "multiple systemic failures."
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"Here we’re starting with the facts, the most thorough and reliable report that’s been done on what happened at Robb Elementary," said Rep. Joe Moody, Vice Chair of the HIC.
The report and video shed more light on what happened in the nearly hour-and-a-half between officers' arrival and the takedown of the gunman.
It concludes that the school was not adequately prepared for an armed intruder, citing its five-foot tall exterior fence and doors that are often left unlocked or propped open.
Michael Matranga, who handled a counter-assault team for the Secret Service, calls the recent report and footage of the incident "disturbing and frustrating" and that it all boils down to a lack of situational awareness.
"When you close the door behind you, you have to be consciously aware that that door closed. Did it close? Did it not lock? Is it faulty? Did it break? Someone needs to resolve it right now because something as simple as an open door may mean the difference between 21 lives lost or saved. And so everyone is responsible," Matranga said.
The lack of an incident command post being put in place was also noted in the report, and the role that likely played.
Some community members are not content with the answers given and are frustrated with how long it's taken officials to show transparency.
"No I didn’t get any answers and I don’t feel happy, and I know that our community’s not happy, and I know the parents aren’t happy so these leaders are not leaders," Tina Quintanilla-Taylor said, the mother of a Robb Elementary School shooting survivor.
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"I mean it’s the same as it’s always been right? I didn’t need this report to tell me that they took too long," said Alfred Garza III, the father of Amerie Jo Garza, a victim of the shooting. "Had I known all this info beforehand I would have taken matters into my hands, and you know I would’ve gone in there."
Following the release of the report, the acting Uvalde Police Chief was placed on administrative leave.
"Accountable [means] to say 'hey I’m wrong, you're right. I was there, I did nothing to serve and protect y’all and I’m stepping down and I’m even going to turn in my badge because I’m a coward'," said Quintanilla-Taylor.
The Mayor says the City of Uvalde will conduct its own investigation.
"As Mayor of Uvalde, the city only has authority over its own police force, which is why I support the city’s decision to place Lt. Mariano Pargas on administrative leave and conduct a full internal investigation," said Mayor Don McLaughlin.