The Texas police admitted that their response to the active shooter situation was not adequate on Friday, two days after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The admission of inadequate handling will not assuage those who have lost their loved ones. This rather raises more questions regarding the preparedness of the local police authorities, who were armed to the teeth, but remained hesitant when it came to entering the school building and neutralizing Salvador Ramos.
Ramos, an individual whose background is still being studied, found a time-window of almost one hours, where he killed 19 children and two teachers. Most children, who died and were injured, were not even in their pre-teens.
The other noteworthy events that have transpired between the US Border Patrol tactical team neutralizing Ramos and him entering the school building were how police reacted to parents howling and crying, wanting to see their children, who they feared might be killed.
‘Mother Of Two Handcuffed; Father Pepper-Sprayed And Tasered’
The story of Angeli Rose Gomez stands out.
The woman drove almost 65 kilometers only to be handcuffed temporarily by the police present outside while her both children were meters from Salvador Ramos who at that time locked himself in a classroom and killed children.
“The police were doing nothing. They were just standing outside the fence. They weren’t going in there or running anywhere,” Angeli Rose Gomez was quoted as saying by the Wall Street Journal.
A Uvalde mother was PLACED IN HANDCUFFS by Federal Marshalls on scene for attempting to enter the school to get her child. Another man was tased for trying to get his kid off a bus. All while Salvador Ramos was alive inside killing kids https://t.co/LqqhuIMGlP pic.twitter.com/CNIUZ2GYhk— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) May 26, 2022
She was then handcuffed by an US Marshall and after she recognized some of the police officers, she was uncuffed. Following her release, she climbed the fence and went inside the school and rushed out with two of her children, unhurt.
Another father told her was pepper-sprayed by the police when he wanted to climb the fence and enter the school building. Another parent was tasered by the cops present outside Robb Elementary.
Inadequate Training Or Unreasonable Demands?
A thread shared by The New York Times journalist Mike Baker highlights how the first step police were asked to take in an active shooter situation in their training module was to confront the attacker first. It also said that in a situation where the first responder entering the scene is shot, the officer is expected to act solo and keep fighting.
I have spent the past few days researching the training of Uvalde officers, including the tactics they were expected to use to halt school shooters. The documents are jarring. Here’s a thread of our findings so far.
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) May 28, 2022
Police officers outside the school building - despite being armed to the teeth - said they did not want to enter the building because they were afraid that they would be shot. The cops present outside the building are most likely berating themselves for their lack of quick response but what is more striking is that the high school, two months prior to the incident, underwent an active shooter situation training.
The reality is robust investments in mental health and bringing gun control laws can only reduce these crimes as cops are required to make moment-by-moment judgment calls based on often incomplete information and in situations which can rapidly change.
(with inputs from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post)
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