Jul 18, 2022
Texas lawmakers hold press conference on report into Uvalde school shooting 7/17/22 Transcript
Texas lawmakers hold a press conference about the preliminary report into the mass school shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 children and two teachers dead in Uvalde. Read the transcript here.
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Rep. Burrows: (00:00)
The House Committee on the Robb Elementary Shooting will now come to order. Clerk, call the roll.
Rep. Burrows: (00:05)
Rep. Moody: (00:06)
Justice Guzman: (00:08)
Quorum is present.
Rep. Burrows: (00:10)
Okay, a quorum is present. First, let me say this. If you’re going to ask a question today and you were not able to fill out a witness affirmation form, a WAF, you can still ask your question. Just send an email to Paige and she’ll get it to you, and that should not be a reason why you cannot answer. What I would like to do today is start with this. If there’s only one thing that I can tell you is, there were multiple systemic failures. I would invite everybody to read the entire report. You cannot cherry pick one sentence and use it to say everything without reading it, all together and with context. But if we need a simple phrase to describe what the report says, again, I would tell you multiple systemic failures.
Rep. Burrows: (01:06)
I want to first thank the mayor of Uvalde for hosting a meeting today with several of the families, and asking for us to come by and attend. And I thought that was the respectful thing to do. I thought it was respectful to at least let them hear from me before we open this up to a broader public discussion. I’ll look forward to the questions here at the press conference.
Rep. Burrows: (01:33)
One of the things that I said in there to the families is, we want to show them as much respect as possible. The entire time this committee has been together, we have wanted to show them the [inaudible 00:01:46] respect possible, and we’ve tried to do that. And I asked them, if there was something we’ve ever done not respectful, to let us know what it is. But I told him the most we can do to be respectful at this point is not to just blame one person or one thing. And I hope that the report, when people read all of it together, they understand that we look and take a broad approach to what happened that day.
Rep. Burrows: (02:10)
My biggest fear, and I also shared this with them at the meeting, is that we will look for simple solutions to these complex answers. And we will all look and say, “Well, that’s the way it was in Uvalde. It’s different here.” Well, let me tell you, the people of Uvalde before this? They felt it [inaudible 00:02:32]. They felt that. That’s the false sense of security I worry about.
Rep. Burrows: (02:35)
I think some of the same systems that we found here that failed that day are across the entire state and country. And I do not want to say because of one thing or one person here it could not happen elsewhere. I think that’s a disservice and not the respectful thing to do.
Rep. Burrows: (02:52)
This committee was created by Speaker Dade Phelan, and I’m so appreciated he did this. He formed this just 44 days ago, and I believe this committee has driven things to the forefront. I believe that because of this committee’s work, some of the records have already been changed, and hopefully with this report, a lot of the record is set straight.
Rep. Burrows: (03:13)
This committee is a fact finding committee. Our job was essentially to figure out what the facts were and report it. It’s a bipartisan committee. And the reason this is bipartisan is because the problems are not Republican problems, they’re not Democrat problems, they’re all of our problems. So I’m very proud the speaker made this a bipartisan committee.
Rep. Burrows: (03:37)
There are other committees in the Texas House and Texas Senate that will look at this report, look at the facts that we found here, and discuss and debate the policy that needs to be changed to try to make Texas children safer going forward in the future.
Rep. Burrows: (03:56)
I’m a policymaker. My colleagues up here are policymakers or have strong opinions about changes to policy that need to be done. Today is not the day that we’re going to share what our strong feelings and convictions are about that. That was not the task of finding the facts. After some period of time, we’ll put our policymaker hats back on and share those opinions with the committee and others about what we think needs to change and what’s done. But right now, we’re going to let the report speak for itself and focus on the facts that were found in there.
Rep. Burrows: (04:29)
The committee met with more than 35 witnesses. Those were done in a executive session. That is the precedent of the House in the past, and will likely be the precedent of the House going forward. Being in executive session meaning the people and witnesses who attended did not have the cameras on them and did not testify for the public at large to hear.
Rep. Burrows: (04:52)
We believe that that probably allowed us to get their testimony quicker, and also they were more candid and more conversational, allowing us to do our job more accurately. Other committees in the state of Texas do have subpoena power, and will have the opportunity to subpoena those witnesses for y’all to hear what they have to say for themselves. But that is the precedent of the House, for an investigative committee to do this in executive session, which is what we did.
Rep. Burrows: (05:18)
In addition to the 35 witnesses that we interviewed. There were 39 independent interviews that our investigators, who did a phenomenal job, held to help us. We reviewed crime scene photos, audio and video from the incident, 911 calls. All of that went into trying to get this report compiled in 44 days so that we could deliver this here to Uvalde, and hopefully you will find this reflective of the facts that we basically could get to.
Rep. Burrows: (05:49)
Let me tell you a little bit about the report. We talk about the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. And let me say this. With hindsight, we can say the Robb Elementary was not adequately prepared for the risk of a school shooter. The school’s five foot fence was inadequate. Despite a policy of locked doors, there was a regrettable culture of non-compliance. In fact, all three exterior doors to the building were unlocked that day, and multiple interior doors were not secured the day of the shooting.
Rep. Burrows: (06:21)
When I talked about the false sense of security, I do not believe that Uvalde Consolidated or Robb Elementary is the only school with these issues in it. I’ve talked to enough other educators around the state to believe this is a wider problem that we need to continue to look at.
Rep. Burrows: (06:38)
We discussed the attacker. You’ll first notice we did not use his name. When we wanted to release the hallway video to the members of the families and the public, we were not going to show his image. He wanted that, and he did not deserve it. He did not deserve to have that recognition of his face or his name shown, because it’s what he wanted.
Rep. Burrows: (07:03)
Also, there are cultures online who look and believe that when they see these videos, there’s something to be inspired by. We did not want others to look at these videos and to watch it and be inspired by it. We only wanted to show the law enforcement response. However, we did give you a more comprehensive look at the background of the attacker. We refer to him that throughout the report, because that’s how he refers to by the alert training.
Rep. Burrows: (07:32)
He fits the profile of many. He came from a broken home with little to no interaction with his father. He struggled in school, both academically and socially. He struggled to fit in and eventually became isolated. He networked with his peers through social media and violent video games, and ultimately had a fixation on school shootings and even developed the nickname School Shooter. We also talk in this report about the failures of law enforcement. There’s really two categories to think about when we talk about this. There is an early decision to treat this as an active shooter versus a barricaded subject situation. And the training and standards we set for officers is, if you know there is active shooting, active killing going on, or somebody is dying, the standard is, you have to continue to do something to stop that killing or stop that dying.
Rep. Burrows: (08:39)
That day, 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. Try to go in through the windows. Try to distract him. Try to do something to address the situation.
Rep. Burrows: (09:02)
In fairness, there were many officers at that scene who were either denied access to the building, were told misinformation. Some were even told false information. Some were told the Police Chief of the Consolidated Independent School District was actually inside the room, actively negotiating with the shooter, such that they did not know what was happening. They did not have the opportunity to do that. But that’s not where the analysis stops.
Rep. Burrows: (09:33)
Everyone who came on the scene talked about this being chaotic. The training suggests that chaos should not happen. Inside the school, there should be a tactical commander, someone who’s taking lead on dealing with the actual in the hallway. But there should also be an overall commander. Somebody who’s in overall command, flowing the information, making sure everybody knows what is going on. The fact that there was no overall commander outside the building, where there should have been one, should have been known by many.
Rep. Burrows: (10:08)
At a minimum, there was multiple opportunities, depending on the relative training and experience of law enforcement officers, to at least ask more questions, or offer their guidance to try to remedy the chaotic situation and make sure there was effective overall command. There was a lack of effective overall command that day. I am going to recognize my colleagues for some brief statements. And then we will answer the questions here today. Representative Moody.
Rep. Moody: (10:39)
Thank you Mr. Chairman. I’m Joe Moody, a Democrat from El Paso. I’m a former prosecutor. I’ve worked on issues like criminal law and mental health for my entire legislative career, and most importantly I’m a father of three.
Rep. Moody: (10:58)
Sadly, I’ve dealt with mass shootings before. In just two weeks, it’ll be the third anniversary of the day a young man with a rifle murdered 23 people in El Paso. After that, we all kept asking why. Why did this happen to us? We’re here today to provide some of those answers in Uvalde. And while this information will never make up for the unspeakable loss this community has endured, El Pasoans know how important it is to know.
Rep. Moody: (11:33)
I also know the report we’ve given points to something very complex. It’s hard to hear that there were multiple systemic failures, because we want to tell ourselves that systems work. We want to tell ourselves there’s one person we could point our fingers at. We want to tell ourselves that this won’t happen again. That’s just not true. What happened here is complicated, but there’s also a call to action in this report, because systems-
Rep. Moody: (12:03)
Is also a call to action in this report because systems are something that we can and must improve. I see the report as a baseline of information that we can all work from. So often these days, politics starts with the answer and doesn’t even care about the facts. Here, we’re starting with the facts. The most thorough, reliable report that’s been done on what happened at Robb Elementary. There’s more to do, but this report is a shared platform for us to work from together.
Rep. Moody: (12:36)
The shootings in Uvalde and El Paso have important differences. So did Midland Odessa and Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe and on and on. But they also have important similarities that we can understand and address as a state. Although today isn’t the day for that discussion, that’s what this report can and must lead to. I made a promise to the people of El Paso that I haven’t forgotten and that I will never forget, to do everything in my power to make sure the legislature understands what happened and why and to fight for the solutions that we deserve. I make that same promise here today in Uvalde. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Speaker 1: (13:33)
Thank you. Representative Moody. Justice Guzman.
Speaker 2: (13:36)
Good afternoon. I’m Eva Guzman. I’m a former Texas Supreme Court Judge and I’m the public member of this committee. For the past several weeks, we have traveled to Uvalde to take testimony, to hear firsthand what took place and in pursuit of the truth. I did so, we did so at the request of Texas House Speaker, Dave Phelan, who charged us with delivering answers to the families who lost their loved ones and who seek to understand what happened that day. How could there be so many, multiple systemic failures? As our state and our country mourn the tragic deaths at Robb Elementary, our committee unpacked the evidence to discover and report the facts. As a former judge, I spent much of my professional life ensuring that the facts I relied on to make decisions were accurate. I brought to this process that same determination. After all, accurate facts have to provide the backdrop for any policy changes that will come out of this. Throughout the investigative process, our only agenda was to follow the facts and the evidence.
Speaker 2: (15:05)
As John Adams famously said, whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of the facts and the evidence. That’s where we placed our focus. There, we found the truth about what really happened at Robb Elementary that day. But we also found the reality of the breakdowns in procedures and protocols and processes. Of the breakdowns and failures in judgment, in decision making, that occurred before and during the tragedy. That truth, it’s heavy and it’s hard because it lays bare human failures. And it makes us confront collapses in our systems. They were supposed to work. They were supposed to protect the innocents who now lie in their graves.
Speaker 2: (16:14)
Today, we stand before a community that’s still gripped in grief. With this report, families who are crushed by sorrow and pain will now have desperately needed and deserved answers, but no report can heal the broken hearts. Only God can do that. Knowing the truth, we hope, will equip Texas lawmakers and leaders with information and knowledge that will guide them in deciding next steps. We hope the truth about this tragedy will also give this community the resolve to forge a path forward. I come here with humility and respect and I am here for you, for the people of Uvalde.
Speaker 1: (17:11)
Thank you. Pursuant to the house rules, before a question is asked, we will have to have a witness affirmation form where, as I said, you can email to the committee clerk. Are we ready for questions at this time, Matt?
Speaker 4: (17:26)
Speaker 1: (17:26)
Speaker 4: (17:30)
[inaudible 00:17:30] Question.
Speaker 1: (17:31)
Speaker 4: (17:32)
When you ask your question, could you tell us your name and what news affiliate you represent? So with that, we’ll start with the media with questions.
Speaker 3: (17:47)
Mr. Chairman, you mentioned that-
Speaker 4: (17:47)
Could you state your name and affiliation? Thanks.
Speaker 3: (17:50)
[inaudible 00:17:50] you mentioned that several communities cannot [inaudible 00:17:50] the fact that [inaudible 00:17:50]. Given that, talk about the urgency of legislation [inaudible 00:18:03] to add protection [inaudible 00:18:07] something that will be done.
Speaker 1: (18:12)
So what I am telling you is we have substantive committees that already been formed. The governor formed those early on and the speaker of the house formed it at the same time. 44 days ago, this has been done. They’ve already been working on this. We now have some baseline information we can report to the legislature, help them basically make some decisions about systemic failures. I think each community can look at the things we’ve laid out in this report and make some determinations about how to prevent that from happening. I will tell you, not as a legislator, not as a chairman of this committee, but as a father, I have asked teachers at my schools, principals at my schools …
Speaker 1: (20:48)
But we do say there was chaos on the scene. And certainly with the chaos, people should have asked why is there not an incident commander? Why there’s not overall commander outside the building helping try to organize that. Representative Moody, Justice Guzman … Hold on a second, I want to let them do this.
Speaker 2: (21:07)
One of the things that we’ve learned from this is the importance of an incident commander and the information that’s relayed out. We know we didn’t have that here. And you’re asking why the information was told the way it was. Who knew what when? The failure to have an incident commander on the scene to receive information and to communicate with the media, I believe, in part led to some of the information that was reported inaccurately.
Speaker 1: (21:37)
Okay. Representative Moody.
Rep. Moody: (21:40)
Just to dove tail on that, I think the question was looking at maybe how information flowed, went post the incident. There is a section in the report about information flowing, how we believe that is incumbent upon law enforcement as they make reports to report what is verified, understand what is verifiable, what is not verifiable. So when the chairman talks about multiple systemic failures, one of those is the handling of information in this investigation. And that’s why it’s in the report in that section.
Speaker 5: (22:19)
Chairman [inaudible 00:22:19].
Speaker 1: (22:19)
Yes over here.
Speaker 4: (22:20)
Could we just hold to one follow up and give everyone else a chance? Rosa, go ahead.
Speaker 5: (22:29)
[inaudible 00:22:29]. A lot of the families, what they’re asking for is for tougher gun laws. For the lawmaker, will you support tougher gun laws in Texas?
Speaker 1: (22:37)
So what I’m going to tell you is this today is about what the committee was tasked to do. It was tasked to come up with the facts and that is what the committee was charged with by the speaker. After a modicum of time … And by the way, there are other [inaudible 00:22:50], I’ve explained, just looking at the policies, can debate everything. After a modicum of time, out respect for this report, all of us, I assume, will have the opportunity to make the comments about the policy, the changes, our feelings and what we think ought to be done. But today is not that day. If you ask me that question again, sooner or later, I’ll answer it for you. I’ll be glad to answer it for you. And I think the members of this committee would be happy to do that. Just not today, out of respect for what we’ve been asked to do and the report that we have.
Speaker 6: (23:22)
Speaker 1: (23:22)
Hold on a second, name and who you’re with?
Speaker 6: (23:23)
Yeah. Sam Brock. [inaudible 00:23:25].
Speaker 1: (23:23)
Okay. Thank you.
Speaker 6: (23:30)
Beyond just answering what happened, accountability is the other [inaudible 00:23:30] every family member talks about. So what do you think is accountable? All the law enforcement agencies [inaudible 00:23:35] out. Who shares the largest blame? What sort of legal, criminal action [inaudible 00:23:41]?
Speaker 1: (23:41)
So I’m going to tell you, it’s a great question. And it’s one that I wish I was in position to answer about all of the mechanics of it. We spent 44 days looking at the facts to lay those out. Each different officer who was connected to an agency is going to have to do their own internal review. Everybody’s going to have to figure out, as I said, who knew what and when? And if somebody failed to exercise their training, if somebody knew-
Speaker 7: (24:03)
… failed to exercise their training. If somebody knew there were victims in there being killed or dying and did not do more, I believe those agencies will have to find accountability for those officers. But that is not what we are tasked with in this report to come with. And I understand that, but the limit, what we have done, is put the facts forward so others can take a look at that. [inaudible 00:24:21] justices are.
Justice Guzman: (24:26)
Those facts will allow those agencies to take a deeper dive into the actions of law enforcement and hold them accountable. The report says if you’re not willing to put the lives of the people you serve, of those children, before your own, in my view, you should find another job.
Speaker 8: (24:47)
Speaker 9: (24:47)
Follow up on that question, please, and the report to the district attorney.
Speaker 7: (24:53)
It’s public record. I mean, everyone has at this point in time.
Speaker 10: (24:56)
Speaker 8: (24:56)
Hey, chairman. Chairman.
Speaker 10: (24:57)
The lady in the hat over here. Thank you.
Speaker 11: (24:57)
Hi, [inaudible 00:24:57] from Houston. Wanted to know today was about transparency and speaking to the families, but why were several families not allowed inside to speak with you guys?
Speaker 7: (25:09)
Yeah. Great question. I actually learned from it from your reporting for the first time. It was not a meeting that we organized. We came at the mayor’s invitation. I don’t know the specifics of it. Had not had that chance to actually find out, but certainly there was nobody that I’m not willing to visit with and help understand, deliver a copy to. And if somebody, a family member, did not go into the meeting, I’d love to know the circumstances, I’d love to sit down and visit with them. Happy to do that one-on-one. But I did not ask anybody, obviously, not to be there.
Speaker 10: (25:39)
NBC, back there in the dress, go ahead. Yeah.
Speaker 12: (25:42)
[inaudible 00:25:42] San Antonio. All of those open records that media have put in and no one’s received any information. Will all of these documents be released from [inaudible 00:25:51]?
Speaker 7: (25:53)
So the answer to that is, we will go with the House precedent on investigatory committees. When a House investigatory committee is formed, we do our work in executive session and the documents that were delivered, most of those I legally cannot release unless I’m given permission to from a non-disclosure agreement. I’ve tweeted about that and made people aware. And happy to share the non-disclosure agreement with you. But our hands are tied by precedent and some of the things that we had to do to obtain this, and also, I don’t know if there’s any other investigations that have been alluded to, but I wouldn’t do anything without consultation with the investigators in order to get something done to make sure they’re okay with it, to jeopardize that.
Speaker 10: (26:30)
The person in the glasses with their hand. Thank you.
Christina Glenn: (26:33)
Christina Glenn with [inaudible 00:26:33] Austin. With regard to the 376 police officers that were involved, what’s their duty status? Are they still on the streets?
Speaker 7: (26:46)
We are not advised at this time. You’re going to have to talk to the different individuals, the agency heads. And again, I’m assuming they’re going through a very complicated review of looking at body cam footage to figure out what information was actually available, what was not, those types of things. And we do not have able to do that.
Speaker 10: (27:03)
Lady in the back with the face mask. I know there’s a lot, but you know who I’m talking about, right there in the glasses.
Speaker 13: (27:08)
[inaudible 00:27:08] In your report, you mentioned 80,000 school buildings should be [inaudible 00:27:15]. Does that not seem like [inaudible 00:27:17].
Speaker 7: (27:21)
To make sure I understood your comment, in my report, now I think I’ve got it. So in my report, I laid out that there is up to 80,000 school buildings that the children of Texas attend throughout the days of the school year. And does it seem like a Herculean task to actually overcome that?
Speaker 13: (27:38)
How do you safe those buildings?
Speaker 7: (27:40)
I’m going to make a quick comment, but my colleagues, I want to make sure they get a chance to answer as well. We put that fact in there to make sure that when we talk about school hardening and school safety measures or whatever that is, people remember there are 80,000 buildings in the State of Texas. And that is. But you know what? We have to recognize that as we talk about this policy.
Representative Moody: (28:05)
Had an opportunity to visit with educators from Robb, not just during this process, but today as well. And that idea of security and safety and moving forward, specifically for them and for this community, is something that they’re focused on and we are helping focus on that with them. But I think that the broader point about lessons learned and moving forward and why that number’s important to know is, it is a large task, but if our priorities are safety and security of our kids, then that is the task at hand. So the job that we had here is set out facts to understand what’s going on. That is an important fact to know. And my kids are in two of those campuses back home. And so do I care about that? Am I going to visit with folks back home like the chairman has? Absolutely. And then we have an obligation going forward at the state level as well.
Speaker 7: (29:03)
Justice Guzman: (29:04)
There’s a section in the report on the school and the administrators. It’s my hope that every school district takes some time to read this report. There were multiple systemic failures, including not locking doors. I hope that every school district will look at this report and glean something from the lessons this unfortunate and tragic.
Speaker 10: (29:36)
The lady standing up in the dress by the cameras.
Maria Guerrero: (29:37)
Hi there. Maria Guerrero with NBC 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth. Please afford these two questions; one is for your reaction and another is for these families. The mayor of Uvalde, it looks like following the release of your report, placed the city’s police chief on leave to determine whether he should have taken over command that horrible day. What is your reaction as a committee who looked also at the police chief? What is your reaction to this decision? And based on your findings, should he have taken command? That wasn’t extremely clear in the findings.
Speaker 7: (30:09)
So the question was about the mayor’s most recent actions. I saw him earlier. He made mention of that. I don’t know if our report gave him the emphasis to be able to do that or not. I’m not aware of. But obviously, you would need to talk to the mayor and I respect the mayor’s decisions after reading the report into doing what he thinks needs to be done to protect the people of Uvalde. The second question that you asked was, remind me.
Maria Guerrero: (30:37)
No, based on what you guys found out, should he, the police chief of the city, taken over command?
Speaker 7: (30:44)
Yeah, I think at the end of the day, we do not specify which officers should have taken over command in here. Because that’d be a little bit of our opinion as to who should have. What I will tell you is this, there were officers in that building who knew or should have known more needed to be done. And there was also officers who should have seen some of the chaos going on and at least at a minimum, if they didn’t take over command or try to assume command, they should have began asking questions or offered their support and guidance. And eventually, maybe they would’ve gotten command to have a better response from that.
Speaker 10: (31:23)
Lady in the front row.
Maria Guerrero: (31:24)
But just real quick. That was just one question though. I still have a follow-up. Sorry.
Speaker 10: (31:27)
Okay, go ahead.
Maria Guerrero: (31:27)
That was just one. Sorry. The report says most of these babies were killed in that first barrage of gunfire before officers ever stepped foot inside of that building. But how many could have been saved still is not known. How do you guys know that? Are y’all going to have experts? Will families know that information, as far as who may have been able to be saved at some point? And how will that change your investigation?
Speaker 7: (31:56)
There are autopsies of medical examiners that we do not have access to. I do not believe have been complete. I’ve never been a doctor. I’ve never gone back and done forensic exams. I’m not qualified to basically tell you who would or not have. We’ve talked to enough to know what we were able to say. And obviously, if we get more information … This is a preliminary report. I want to be very candid. The decision we made was, we have done at least enough at this point in time to be able to issue a preliminary report. I am not telling you it’s conclusive and I think there’s other things out there. That’s certainly one of them that could be done.
Speaker 10: (32:30)
Lady in the front row, please. State your name and your affiliation. Thank you.
Speaker 14: (32:35)
[inaudible 00:32:35] Austin. Two quick questions for you. My first is, the reports that you guys don’t have access to all the material witnesses [inaudible 00:32:46].
Speaker 7: (32:46)
Federal. We do not have jurisdiction over federal officers, agents, to basically force them to comply with the subpoena to bring them in. So that’s one of the things that we did not and a lot of them had body cameras.
Speaker 10: (32:56)
Lady in the back row with your hand up, please. You got a follow-up?
Speaker 14: (32:57)
Speaker 10: (33:00)
Okay, go ahead. We got a short time, so let’s try and [inaudible 00:33:04] along.
Speaker 7: (33:04)
Before you ask that, Representative Moody wants to follow up on that as well. I want to make sure he has good time. [inaudible 00:33:10] Hold on. Representative Moody is going to comment on that first.
Speaker 10: (33:15)
We’ll get to you. We’ll get to you.
Representative Moody: (33:17)
Just for a matter of completeness, while we didn’t have the ability to compel participation, there were statements taken from federal agents. Those, we did have the opportunity to review and understand, but there’s a difference between reading a statement and having the opportunity to question somebody live. That’s for context.
Speaker 10: (33:32)
Okay. Back behind me here, this gentleman.
Speaker 14: (33:34)
I had my one follow-up real quick. Sorry. So the report also stated that approximately 142 rounds of [inaudible 00:33:41] over 100 required [inaudible 00:33:45].
Speaker 7: (33:49)
So that was confirmed to us by the investigation being done by the FBI and DPS. They confirmed that with the video evidence. And certainly that’s commensurate with, I think, what you hear when you hear the audio and sound of that nature.
Speaker 10: (34:04)
Okay. You good? Okay.
Justice Guzman: (34:04)
It was in the first-
Speaker 7: (34:05)
Justice Guzman has something to follow up on real quick.
Justice Guzman: (34:08)
It was in the first two and a half minutes, the report says 100 rounds were fired.
Speaker 10: (35:32)
All right. Thank you. Go ahead.
Speaker 15: (35:34)
Speaker 7: (35:35)
Speaker 15: (35:37)
Yeah? [foreign language 00:34:19]
Justice Guzman: (35:37)
[foreign language 00:34:32] Thank you, Chief.
Speaker 10: (35:37)
Okay. Robert, go ahead.
Robert Arnold: (35:37)
Robert Arnold with [inaudible 00:35:37] TV out of Houston. I’ve got two quick questions. First, if it was asked and answered and I missed it, I apologize. In the report, it states the Chief Arredondo and the director of student services wrote the active shooter policy for CISD, and that active shooter policy called for the chief of police for the district to take command. During your roughly five hours with the chief, did he explain why he did not follow his own report? [inaudible 00:36:02] is coming from the community-
Speaker 16: (36:03)
… [inaudible 00:36:00] did not follow his own report. Second, this is coming from the community. Many in the community are asking people to translate this report into Spanish and distribute that.
Speaker 17: (36:11)
Speaker 18: (36:11)
Yeah. Second question is a phenomenal question. Justice Guzman has brought that to my attention multiple times, as has Representative Moody. Yes, absolutely. It is only appropriate to do that, and that will be done.
Speaker 18: (36:23)
Your first question had to do with Chief Arredondo as far as taking over command. In our reports, we did put some specific quotes from him in there. I would direct the audience, and you and everybody, to what he actually said and quote him directly. But essentially, he testified that he felt like he was not in command. That all being said, he certainly, during that day, took actions, and I think would agree and did agree that if anybody was in charge, of at least the response south of the door versus north, it was him, at least until BORTAC arrived and took over the tactical command. And they’re the ones who made entry.
Speaker 19: (37:07)
Okay. Light in the back by the camera with their hand up.
Speaker 20: (37:09)
Speaker 19: (37:09)
Speaker 20: (37:12)
ABC News. If you would also answer in Spanish, that would helpful as well. A lot of families have told us that while they were very concerned about what happened that day and inside, they were also very concerned about the information that was coming out afterwards or the lack thereof. Can you speak to why there seemed to be so much confusion in the hours, if not days even, after the shooting itself? Why weren’t families given answers and information immediately?
Speaker 18: (37:41)
Let me say this, and I think Representative Moody, I’m going to let him answer it, and Justice Guzman and make sure she will be able to translate parts of it, what she wants to say in Spanish.
Speaker 18: (37:50)
It is clear that this report does try to address the impact of the misinformation on the community. Who knew what when, and how it flowed, was clearly issues and has created some problems, and the back part of the report certainly does touch on that.
Speaker 20: (38:07)
They created a huge distrust here.
Speaker 18: (38:10)
Our report speaks to that very directly, very clearly. And I want to thank Representative Moody for taking part of the lead on helping that. I’d like him to be able to give the opportunity to say some more, and I’m going to let Justice Guzman speak to that some more as well.
Representative Moody: (38:24)
As we worked on this and understood that there were multiple systemic failures in security, and in police response, and in the life of the attacker, and how those systems that we have didn’t address any of that, what became very evident to us also was that the information flow exacerbated the pain of this community. That was told to us multiple times. The back and forth, or the out-of-context, or the mis-truths or half-truths, were harmful in and of themselves. And so, as we discussed, multiple systemic failures that we have to address.
Representative Moody: (39:11)
That this portion of the investigation was also a failure and has caused a rightfully cynical approach to the way this committee has done its business. Even though, as the chairman stated, this is the way investigative committees always work. We don’t operate in a vacuum. When you lay that on top of the situation as it was, or as it is, then you have to address it and put it forward. That’s why it’s in the report because our job is not to… Our job, as we saw very clearly, it’s not to add to that confusion, but to create stable, level ground that unifies facts that we can then build from.
Representative Moody: (39:54)
There are many of us, in this community and across the state, that want to know where we go next in a lot of different areas. I know as policy makers, we’re going to turn that corner and do that too. But you cannot do that without a stabilizing force of facts. That was our mission here. That’s why we addressed the fact that that information flow was part of the systemic failure that occurred here in Uvalde.
Speaker 18: (40:43)
Justice Guzman: (40:44)
[foreign language 00:40:44]
Speaker 21: (40:44)
Justice Guzman: (40:44)
[foreign language 00:40:44]
Speaker 21: (40:51)
Justice Guzman: (40:51)
Let me get through this one answer, and then we’ll address your concerns. Thank you. [foreign language 00:41:00].
Speaker 19: (41:35)
All right. As I stated at the beginning, we have to make a 6:00 mass. This is going to be the last question, and that goes to that lady right over there in the blue.
Speaker 22: (42:11)
I just wanted to have you guys walk me through a couple of things. According to DPS, at 12:15 BORTAC arrived at the building. And at 12:17, Arredondo said, “Tell them to f-ing wait. No one comes in.” Was he talking about BORTAC? Is that why BORTAC went in [inaudible 00:42:11]? And did they open the door by just turning the knob or did they use [inaudible 00:42:15]?
Speaker 17: (42:16)
So two things. In the report, we go to great pains to try to set what actually the context of that statement related to the evacuation. I think when you read it all together, and I’ll do that… Let me address the key, because I think this is very important and a lot of questions have asked about it. The statements from BORTAC were, yes, they put a key in the door and they unlocked it. There is enough information to be very uncertain whether or not that door was ever locked. The committee believes, based on all the testimony and information we received, it was very likely that door was either not locked or secured at the time. However, I am not willing to tell you with 100% absolute certainty that we know, and we may never know whether or not that door was actually locked and secure at that time. But there’s a strong emphasis, and we put it in the report, that it is more likely than not, very strongly. If somebody had just gone up and tried the door handle, they could have opened it without a key.
Speaker 21: (43:17)
Speaker 19: (43:17)
Thank you Mr. Chairman. That’ll be it for today. We’ve got to get to mass. The Archbishop has invited us and we’re going to move on out. Thank you so much.
Speaker 21: (43:23)
You kept us waiting, just like you kept the kids waiting at the school, and you don’t have time to answer our questions as a community? This is a call for justice [inaudible 00:43:32]. So what are you going to do to take action?
Speaker 23: (43:49)
They don’t want to speak.
Speaker 21: (43:49)
Speak to us.
Speaker 23: (43:49)
They don’t want to do nothing.
Speaker 21: (43:50)
Speaker 23: (43:50)
You’re all just a bunch of cowards. Cowards.
Speaker 24: (44:15)
What are you going to [inaudible 00:44:15].