Lawmakers in Texas on Sunday disclosed the first detailed investigative report from the tragic mass shooting that occurred on May 24 at Robb Elementary School.
The report lays out the lapses in preparation, training, and judgment surrounding one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.
Their 77-page report gives the most complete portrait to date of the massacre, and described a series of “shortcomings and failures of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and various agencies and officers of law enforcement.”
However, committee members stressed that they do not know whether a faster or more competent response that day could have saved lives when it came to a gunman bent on firing at the unarmed with a high-powered assault rifle, ABC News reported.
Members of a special committee of the Texas state legislature met over the weekend with family members of the victims to go over their findings and answer field questions from a community who still wants answers following the tragedy that took the lives of 19 students and two teachers.
Family members of the victims say the anguish of losing their loved ones coupled with the failure on the part of state and local leaders to explain what took responding officers nearly 77 minutes to confront and kill the 18-year-old suspect.
Local law enforcement officials who arrived first on the scene “failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety,” the report stated, adding that both larger state and federal agencies that responded later should have taken over command.
“The void of leadership could have contributed to the loss of life as injured victims waited over an hour for help, and the attacker continued to sporadically fire his weapon,” the report found.
“We do not know at this time whether responders could have saved more lives by shortening that delay.”
The report also highlighted a bevy of “failures of facilities maintenance and advance preparation” on the behalf of the school district, which included insufficient security at points of entry and a “regrettable culture of noncompliance by school personnel who frequently propped doors open and deliberately circumvented locks.”
“With hindsight, we can say that Robb Elementary did not adequately prepare for the risk of an armed intruder on campus,” the report concluded. “Because of these [failures], the attacker fired most of his shots and likely murdered most of his innocent victims before any responder set foot in the building.”
Following the report’s release, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin confirmed in a statement that the city will also release all body camera footage from the city’s police officers that were taken during the incident.
The city has since placed Lt. Mariano Pargas, who at the time was the acting chief of police, on administrative leave.