A 77-page report released by the Texas state House of Representatives said there were systemic failures on behalf of the some 400 enforcement officers who responded to the May 24 mass shooting at a school in Uvalde.
Those claims appear to coincide with statements made by top Texas officials days after the shootings. Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said on May 27 that it was the “wrong decision” not to engage with the shooter, Salvador Ramos.
The report said that law enforcement failed to quickly confront the suspect and instead retreated to safety.
“In this crisis, no responder seized the initiative to establish an incident command post,” it states. “Despite an obvious atmosphere of chaos, the ranking officers of other responding agencies did not approach the Uvalde CISD chief of police or anyone else perceived to be in command to point out the lack of and need for a command post, or to offer that specific assistance.”
Some individual officers acted without instruction to try to reach the shooter and might have been able to do so if they had more backup, according to the paper.
“Given the information known about victims who survived through the time of the breach and who later died on the way to the hospital, it is plausible that some victims could have survived if they had not had to wait 73 additional minutes for rescue,” the report reads.
A force of 376 law enforcement officers responded to the mass shooting, according to the House panel, which said that there wasn’t clear leadership as they responded.
Texas lawmakers on July 17 noted that Ramos was born in Fargo, North Dakota, before he was moved to Texas when he was a child. Ramos also may have been sexually abused as a child, the report states, citing
Friends of the suspect, including a girlfriend, told investigators that Ramos became increasingly depressed during the COVID-19 pandemic. At one point, Ramos told the girlfriend that he wouldn’t live past age 18.