No ‘permission’ for officer to shoot Uvalde attacker: Report

Southwest

(NewsNation) — A new Texas report says the first armed officer to arrive at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde saw the gunman while he was still outside the school but did not shoot him because he did not receive permission from his supervisor.

The report by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) at Texas State University was released Wednesday amid continuing questions and criticism about law enforcement’s response to the attack that left 21 dead.

According to the report, the armed officer saw the suspect — Salvador Ramos — carrying a rifle and asked for permission to shoot him.

“However, the supervisor either did not hear or responded too late,” according to the report. “The officer turned to get confirmation from his supervisor and when he turned back to address the suspect, he had entered the west hallway unabated.”

Authors of the 26-page report said their findings were based off video taken from the school, police body cameras, testimony from officers on the scene and statements from investigators. Among their findings:

  • It appeared that no officer waiting in the hallway during the shooting ever tested to see if the door to the classroom was locked. The head of Texas’ state police agency has also faulted officers on the scene for not checking the doors.
  • The officers had “weapons (including rifles), body armor (which may or may not have been rated to stop rifle rounds), training, and backup. The victims in the classrooms had none of these things.”
  • When officers finally entered the classroom at 12:50 p.m. — more than an hour after the shooting began — they were no better equipped to confront the gunman than they had been up to that point.
  • “Effective incident command” never appears to have been established among the multiple law enforcement agencies that responded to the shooting.

Previously, a senior sheriff’s deputy told The New York Times two Uvalde officers passed up a chance to shoot Ramos outside the school before he went on to kill 19 students and two teachers inside the school on May 24.

Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde schools police chief criticized for waiting too long before confronting Ramos, resigned from his position on the Uvalde City Council on July 2.

A lawyer for Arredondo and a spokeswoman for the Uvalde city police department did not immediately respond to The Associated Press’ requests for comment.

Arredondo is on leave from his job with the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. There is no indication he will resign from the position.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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