Uvalde School Shooting Draws DOJ’s Strong Critique

(IntegrityTimes.com) – On Thursday January 18 the U.S. Department of Justice released a 610-page report on the tragic school shooting that took place at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. The shooting shocked the nation due to the senseless deaths of 19 children and 2 teachers at the hands of 18-year-old Salvador Ramos and because of national outrage over the ineffective response by law enforcement. The report does not discuss the identity of the shooter, nor his motives.

The report details a wide array of failures in communication, training, and leadership as well as technical problems that contributed to the situation lasting far longer than it had to. These catastrophic shortcomings have been discussed before, but the report also points out ineptitude that continued after the event, causing confusion and distress for the families of the those who were killed. One county district attorney allegedly told families that they couldn’t receive death notifications until after all the autopsies were performed. For some this was the first indication that their loved one was dead.

Treating an active shooter as a barricaded subject was the most notable offense and much discussed at the time, but as details have emerged, it only looks worse. While these phrases may not mean much to the layperson, they describe very different tactical responses that military, or law enforcement personnel would know. If there are any injured victims or if the gunman shoots anyone then the situation is considered an active shooter and urgency is required. A barricaded subject may have hostages but has not harmed anyone and therefore attempts can be made to negotiate.

During a news conference on Thursday January 18, in which U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland discussed the report, he characterized the necessity of responding to mass shootings as part of the terrible reality that law enforcement officers must face. He added that the disastrous mistakes made that day can be blamed on failed policies, training, and leadership. Texas Governor Greg Abbott made a statement on Thursday January 18 later in the day thanking the DOJ for their critical review and saying that Texas has already been implementing some of the recommendations outlined within it.

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