A damning report and hours of new body camera video is further evidence mounting against law enforcement who responded to the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. The report, released Sunday, comes from a Texas House Committee investigating the event that killed 19 children and 2 teachers.
“If we need a simple phrase to describe what the report says, again, I would say multiple systemic failures,” Texas State Rep. Dustin Burrows, the chair of the committee, said at a Sunday news conference.
The report is 77 pages long. It reveals there were 376 law enforcement officers who responded to the scene. Investigators said school administrators adopted a ‘regrettable culture of noncompliance’ with safety and security measures. There are three entrance points into the building. All three doors were unlocked the day of the shooting. The report says the school did not adequately prepare for an active shooter situation and that the officers on scene should have done more.
“That day, several officers in the hallway or in that building knew, or should’ve known, there was dying in that classroom,” Burrows said. “They should’ve done more, acted with urgency, try the door handles, try to go in through the windows, try to distract him, try to do something to address the situation.”
After the news conference on the report, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin released the new body camera video. It captures a further chaotic response by law enforcement.
“We agree with the committee’s review of the incident and there was a failure of command all around. However, we have further questions as to who was responsible for taking command, as each agency there had senior level commanders own site,” Mayor McLaughlin said. “So we want to know which agency took what specific actions to take command and where did the critical breakdown occur.”
The report comes days after the controversial release of security surveillance obtained by two Texas news agencies. The video depicts the gunman entering the school and then the classroom.
“When we wanted to release the hallway video, to members of the family and to the public, we were not going to show his image,” Burrows said. “He wanted that and he did not deserve it.”
Responding law enforcement agencies are conducting their own internal investigations.