An official report published this Sunday detected serious coordination errors by local, state and federal security forces in the operation deployed during the shooting at the Uvalde elementary school (Texas, USA) in which 19 children and two teachers died. .
The investigation, prepared by a committee of the Texas Congress and to which The Texas Tribune newspaper had access, concluded that 376 agents participated in the school’s rescue operation, leading a “chaotic and uncoordinated scene that lasted more than an hour.”
The report finds that authorities took so long to enter the classroom where the shooter, Salvador Ramos, had barricaded himself with a group of students due to “systemic failures and extremely poor decision-making.” “The group lacked leadership and communication, and had no urgency to finish off the shooter,” the report dictates, according to the newspaper.
It is the first time that errors by state and federal authorities have been pointed out, since until now the investigations had pointed to the chief of the school district police, Pete Arredondo, as responsible for the delay of the agents when breaking into Classroom.
According to the report, 149 United States Border Patrol agents attended the school, since Uvalde is located a few kilometers from Mexico; 91 state police officers, 25 Uvalde police officers and 16 sheriffs, as well as agents from neighboring counties and other federal agencies.
Interviewed by the committee, several agents who participated in the operation explained that they did not know who was in charge of the operation and others said that Arredondo was responsible.
The report assures that no body, neither federal nor state, offered to lead the operation despite being better prepared than the local police, and finally Border Patrol agents entered the classroom and shot down the shooter without asking permission from Arredondo.
The committee also found that staff at Robb Elementary School routinely left the doors of the center unlocked due to a shortage of keys for all teachers.
“If the school staff had locked the doors as required by protocol, that could have slowed (the shooter’s) progress for a few minutes,” he said.
And he remarked that Salvador Ramos, who legally acquired the AR-15 assault rifle with which he carried out the massacre, had shown on social networks that he was preparing an attack.
The Uvalde massacre that occurred on May 24 has reopened the debate on the possession of weapons in the United States, a right enshrined in the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
While Democrats advocate stronger background checks on gun buyers and a ban on assault rifles, Republicans oppose any restrictions and blame these shootings on mental health issues.
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