DOJ Classified the Uvalde Failure Into 5 Major Pieces

SevenMaps .
SevenMaps .

On January 18th, the Department Of Justice (DOJ) released a 575-page review of the May 24, 2022 Uvalde, TX school shooting. In a 575-page report, they outlined the tremendous failure of officials to respond to the threat of the brutal massacre that went on for over an hour. Including parts of the tearful and scared 911 calls that came in for the first 37 minutes of the shooting, it would be another 40 minutes until someone took the shooter out. The DOJ found five major failures by officials.

  1. Failure to recognize the reality of an active school shooting- While the report acknowledged that officers were quick to respond to the situation, they failed to move in on the shooter. As the DOJ specified, officers on the scene did not make any use of the resources and tools available to them to close in on the shooter and end the attack. Instead of pushing forward, they knowingly left children trapped in a room with the shooter and pulled back under the assumption that the shooter was barricaded inside the room. They even wasted 40 minutes trying to find a key for an adjourning room that was likely unlocked.
  2. Failure to take “courageous action”- then-school Police Chief Pete Arredondo, then-acting Uvalde Police Chief Mariano Pargas, and Uvalde County Sheriff Ruben Nolasco. With Arredondo the leader by default, he should have set up a command structure, and been rolling out plans. According to the report, “Sheriff Nolasco did not seek out or establish a command post, establish unified command, share the intelligence he learned from (the shooter’s) relatives, nor did he assign an intelligence officer to gather intelligence on the subject. At one point, Sheriff Nolasco and UPD Acting Chief Pargas were within 10-15 feet of each other outside the exterior door of the northwest hallway; however, they were not coordinating with one another and continued to act independently.”
  3. Failure to secure the crime scene- With multiple people triaging and moving victims, there was little being done to establish ownership and preservation of the crime scene. As bodies were being moved so those still alive could be treated and moved, things were moved without realizing what they were. The hellfire trigger system the shooter was allegedly using to increase the fire rate of his rife was photographed lying on the floor but was discovered in the trashcan later on. When the FBI offered to process the shooter’s truck, local officials ignored the offer and allowed evidence to be ruined by the elements.
  4. Failure to create SOPs- When the shooting occurred, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department had no Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on file for what to do in an active shooter situation. While the school created annual safety plans, the information they used was often inaccurate. According to the report, the school suffered from a “Culture of complacency regarding locked-door policies. Both exterior and interior doors were routinely left unlocked, and there was no enforced system of accountability for these policies. Door audits were conducted, but not done systematically, nor were they documented.”
  5. Failure to communicate with families- An early official narrative about the shooting portrayed local law enforcement as having stormed the school and stopping the shooter quickly. Reports from parents who raced to the school counteracted those stories, and footage confirmed that they did nothing. Officials then misled parents of dead children who had come to the local civic center for information. Parents of dead kids were sent to the hospital with hopes their child was ok, only to learn otherwise. One parent didn’t learn the fate of their child until hours after the child had died at the hospital.

While mass shootings of any kind involve massive operational failure across the board, the one in Uvalde was one of the worst in the nation’s history. The lack of backbone in Uvalde city and county officers and school officials is nothing less than shameful. These kids deserved better leadership and security. Everyone involved shouldn’t be trusted to cook chicken nuggets, much less educate or safeguard children.