Leadership failures, lack of coordination, and decisions contrary to generally accepted practice were responsible for the delayed police response during a May 2022 mass school shooting, according to a long-awaited federal report released yesterday. Nineteen students and two teachers were killed in the attack at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, with 17 others wounded.
The central issue was found to be a failure by law enforcement to treat the scene as an active shooter situation upon arrival. Specifically, first-on-the-scene responders, including the commanding officer reportedly shifted the response to that of a barricaded shooter (p. 16, full report here)—despite 911 dispatchers relaying they had received calls from children inside the classroom four minutes after officers arrived. Leadership also failed to establish a clear command structure, leaving many arriving support officers confused and without clear orders.
Officials received intense criticism in the aftermath of the attack, with more than 75 minutes passing after the initial police response and before action was taken against the shooter, during which multiple calls by students were made to 911. See a comprehensive timeline here.