Jul 18, 2022
Report sheds light on failures surrounding Uvalde school shooting Transcript
Vanessa Araiza: (00:00)
Good Sunday evening to you. I’m Vanessa Araiza, welcome to ABC Action News at 11. Now, to that scathing report on the mass shooting at Uvalde, Texas, the 77-page report lists a number of problems by many agencies on the scene. And just into our newsroom, we are learning one of the officers who was grazed by a bullet said, “We have got to get in there, he just keeps shooting.” Now, out of full transparency, we are not showing the inside video that some would find offensive, that report finding “Robb Elementary did not adequately prepare for the risk of an armed intruder on campus,” adding that, “The entirety of law enforcement and its training, preparation and response share systemic responsibility for missed opportunities on that tragic day.”
Rep. Dustin Burrows: (00:51)
Several officers in the hallway or in that building knew or should have known there was dying in that classroom, and they should have done more, acted with urgency. Tried the door handles, tried to go in through the windows, try to distract him.
Vanessa Araiza: (01:07)
According to the report, law enforcement officials who arrived at first on the scene failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety. And larger state and federal agencies that arrived later should have taken over commands. Now, the report is just the start, as people look for answers on what happened in Uvalde, Texas, and how to prevent something like that from happening ever again. ABC Action News reporter Mary O’Connell is taking a closer look as experts weigh in on what went wrong.
Mary O’Connell: (01:39)
A lengthy report from a Texas House of Representatives investigative committee outlines the failures and shortcomings surrounding the tragic school shooting in Uvalde. I spoke to a professor and retired police officer on his takeaways and what needs to happen moving forward.
Mary O’Connell: (01:57)
A skating report on the Robb Elementary Shooting describes how it, “Found systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making,” all while detailing the failures of the school district and of various agencies and law enforcement.
Dr. David Thomas: (02:11)
The reality is that we know, after looking at school shootings, especially here in Florida and after Parkland, that that critical time is the first two to three minutes.
Mary O’Connell: (02:21)
In the weeks since the shooting, people across the country have voiced outrage over the response to the incident, Dr. David Thomas, is a Professor of Forensic Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University, and a retired police officer.
Dr. David Thomas: (02:35)
It disturbed me because you had all these officers, you had local, state and federal, and nobody entered that room. That is the first thing, that is 101.
Mary O’Connell: (02:46)
Thomas told me what should have happened
Dr. David Thomas: (02:48)
So that the first officer on the scene, it’s usually that person goes. And then as the other officers come in, they go right to that person. Theoretically, they’ve all been trained the same, so with that training being the same, that it could be a hodgepodge of people from multiple agencies, but all knowing exactly what their job is and what their role is.
Mary O’Connell: (03:08)
And Thomas thinks the greatest concern communities should have with schools is for their small towns, pointing to a need to make sure there’s training for those officers.
Dr. David Thomas: (03:18)
I think the reality is, that people need to understand it’s not if this is going to happen, it’s when it’s going to happen in that community. And so preparation is probably, is the only thing, in practice and repetition, it’s the only thing that’s going to prevent it, at least minimize the impact.
Mary O’Connell: (03:34)
This is an interim report which states the committee’s work is not complete. In Tampa, Mary O’Connell, ABC Action News.