A sobering new report released Wednesday by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University has shed new light on the response to the Uvalde school shooting that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers in May.
The report shows that police had opportunities to stop the shooter before he entered the school but did not act. Tony Plohetski, an investigative reporter for the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV, shared more on the report and the latest developments out of Uvalde:
Officer waited for permission instead of firing at shooter, report says
The new report reveals that a Uvalde city police officer had sighted in with a rifle on the gunman before he entered the school but did not fire as he awaited permission from a supervisor; the officer told investigators that he was not sure he could fire without injuring or killing a child inside, Plohetski said.
“But in addition to that, the experts who looked at his actions that day do believe that he would have been legally justified at that point to open fire, given the totality of the circumstances, what the officer knew in that moment,” Plohetski said. “And what he knew in that moment is that this gunman had already fired multiple times outside the school, that he was armed with an assault rifle and he was heading toward the inside of that school. What experts will tell you is that in a situation like this, you don’t wait for permission, you don’t need permission, you act.”
The Uvalde Police Department has not released any sort of statement on the report, Plohetski said.
Uvalde sheriff refuses to testify
Also on Wednesday, state Rep. Dustin Burrows, head of the House committee investigating what happened the day of the shooting, said that Uvalde County Sheriff Ruben Nolasco has refused to testify. The committee has sent him a notice of deposition requesting that he testify at its next hearing on Monday.
“That is a very curious point as well, about why the sheriff of Uvalde County appears to be holding back in providing his own testimony,” Plohetski said.
What happens next
The House committee is in the final stages of its fact-finding and will be compiling its own report sometime in the next several weeks to release to the public, Plohetski said.
“I think we will continue to see a widening of the lens, if you will, into what happened that day,” he said. “Clearly, this is taking a lot of time – more time than I think any of us would like – but I do think as time is going on, we do seem to be getting closer to the truth and a more complete picture about what happened that day.”