Uvalde Police Officer Could Have Shot Gunman But Didn’t Get Response From Supervisor, Report Finds


A Uvalde, Texas, police officer aimed his rifle toward a gunman outside Robb Elementary School before a brutal mass shooting over a month ago, but he didn’t get a response when he asked a supervisor for permission to shoot, according to a report Wednesday that documented mistakes made by police during the shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

Key Facts

By the time the officer had asked again for confirmation to shoot, the suspect had already entered the school, the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (ALERRT), a Texas-based active shooter training provider, wrote in a report commissioned by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The report said the officer was concerned that if he missed the shot, his bullets could have harmed children inside the school, but ALERRT said he would have been justified to use deadly force if he had a clear shot.

ALERRT identified several other missed opportunities to engage or neutralize the gunman before he entered the school, including an officer who was traveling “at a high rate of speed” in the school’s parking lot and didn’t see the shooter while he was still outside.

The report criticized officers for initially entering the building from two separate areas of the school, a choice that could have created a crossfire situation “resulting in a high likelihood of officers at either end of the hallway shooting officers at the other end.”

The report also found issues with the school’s security mechanisms, including an exterior door that was routinely propped open by rocks and that did not lock when a teacher shut it after spotting the gunman approaching the school.

ALERRT determined the lock on the door to classroom 111 also “was never engaged” because the shooter was able to enter the room, exit the room and then re-enter the room—backing up Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw’s claim last month that officers never even attempted to open the door without a key because they believed it was locked.

Crucial Quote

ALERRT said in its report officers did not properly engage the gunman after entering the building, and lost momentum in preserving life. “Maintaining position or even pushing forward to a better spot to deliver accurate return fire would have undoubtedly been dangerous, and there would have been a high probability that some of the officers would have been shot or even killed,” the report said. “However, the officers also would likely have been able to stop the attacker and then focus on getting immediate medical care to the wounded.”

What We Don’t Know

The report noted that while ALERRT did 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.”

Key Background

Texas law enforcement has faced intense criticism for the response to the shooting and constantly changing timelines, after police took 77 minutes to breach the doors of the classroom that contained the gunman. During that wait time, the incident commander, Uvalde school police chief Pete Arredondo, requested specialized units and classified the incident as a barricaded-subject situation instead of an active shooter situation, despite multiple shots firing while officers were on the scene and 911 calls from inside the classrooms reporting people were still alive. Parents pleaded with officers to go inside the school to save their children, but multiple adults were handcuffed and detained for allegedly interfering with the police investigation. Arredondo has since been placed on leave and resigned from his position on Uvalde’s city council.


Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said in an interview with CNN Tuesday he was “not confident” in Texas DPS’ investigation of the shooting—and he suspected McCraw could be covering up details of the shooting. “What do they say? It’s always hard when you tell a lie, you have to keep telling a lie,” McLaughlin said. “Your story can’t change on something this horrific three times, four times, in three days. At this point, I don’t know what to believe and what not to believe.”

Further Reading

Uvalde Classroom Door Wasn’t Locked—And Police Didn’t Try To Open It Without A Key, Texas Law Enforcement Official Testifies (Forbes)

Uvalde Shooting: Here’s Everything That Turned Out To Not Be True (Forbes)

Uvalde Shooting Timeline: Student Pleaded With 911 To ‘Send The Police Now’ As Officers On Scene Waited For Tactical Units To Arrive (Forbes)

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/annakaplan/2022/07/06/uvalde-police-officer-could-have-shot-gunman-but-didnt-get-response-from-supervisor-report-finds/