Uvalde, Texas (CNN) — A preliminary report by the Texas House Committee investigating the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre details a series of failures by several law enforcement agencies and described “an overall lackadaisical approach” by officers at the shooting scene. in which 21 people were killed.
It is one of the findings of a 77-page report that details the failures of several other entities, including the Uvalde school system, the attacker’s family and social media platforms.
But through its investigation, the commission found no “villains” other than the attacker, according to a copy of the report reviewed by CNN.
“There is no one we can hold responsible for malice or malafide intentions,” the report said. “Instead, we found systemic failures and seriously poor decision-making.”
The document, which was made available to the families of the victims on Sunday morning, has been described as an “interim report”, with the commission of inquiry saying its work is incomplete and that several investigations are still ongoing. But it is the first time since the Rob Elementary School shooting that a government report has taken a comprehensive look at the shooting and the highly criticized law enforcement response.
In the days following the attack, officers provided conflicting and confusing information, and important questions about the police’s response have remained unanswered since the May 24 shootings. Chief among them: why officers waited more than an hour in a school hallway before confronting and killing the gunman, a move law enforcement experts say could have cost lives.
Colonel Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Security, called the officers’ response a “regrettable failure” in a hearing before a Texas Senate committee last month, blaming the on-scene commander, whom state officials called the chief of District Police Pedro. Identified in “Pete” Arredondo.
Arredondo, who has been placed on administrative leave by the school district, told the Texas Tribune last month that he did not consider himself the incident commander and believed that another officer had controlled the major reaction.
The commission’s report, however, “describes the shortcomings and failures of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and various agencies and law enforcement officials.”
According to the report, many of the responding agents were from federal agencies: of the 376 who responded, 149 were from the United States Border Patrol, 14 from the Department of Homeland Security and 91 from the Texas DPS.
CNN has reached out to the Texas DPS, the US Border Patrol, the Uvalde School District, the City Police Department, and the Uvalde District Attorney for comment.
The commission did not have access to eyewitnesses
The report comes nearly eight weeks after an 18-year-old gunman entered Rob Elementary and began shooting inside surrounding classrooms, killing 19 children and two teachers.
Republican State Rep. Dustin Burroughs, the commission’s chairman, said last month that the group would do “everything in its power” to provide facts and answers about “what happened before, during and after this tragedy”.
Members of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police chiefs and officers, district superintendents, school principals, a teacher and custodial staff are among those who testified behind closed doors before the commission, in which nearly 40 people testified. were giving. , according to a source.
The commission did not have access to physical witnesses, the report says, and medical examiners have not released a report on their findings. But the Commission of Inquiry “considers this interim report to be the most compelling account to date,” although “some aspects of these interim findings may be challenged or refuted in the future.”
According to some officials who received the report, hard copies of the report were distributed on Saturday night to officials in Uvalde and Texas out of fear that the document would be leaked to the media before the victims’ family members could read it.
Surveillance footage was leaked and published by the Austin American-Statesman newspaper last Tuesday, sparking outrage from both local officials and families, who said they were caught off guard and humiliated by the unexpected post.
In a statement After the newspaper published the video, Burroughs said that while he was pleased that part of the video had been made public, “he was also disappointed by requests from victims’ families and the Uvalde community to watch the video first.” And no, they were not acquired, as there were some images and audio of the violence. ,
The story of the attacker and the loopholes in the security of the school
The school had its own problems, according to the investigation report, which found that poor WiFi “may have delayed the lockdown alert” on the day of the shooting. Not all teachers received reports immediately and the school’s intercom was not used for communication during the shutdown.
“As a result, not all teachers received timely notice of closure,” the report said.
In addition, the school says “recurring problems” with doors and locks, including Room 111’s latch mechanism, which were “widely believed to be faulty, but not repaired.”
“Rob Elementary had a culture of non-compliance with security policies that required the doors to be locked, which proved fatal,” the report said.
The report did not name the attacker or image him “so as not to glorify him,” she said, but it did provide information about his background both at home and at school as a student in the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. Of.
Although he had “some disciplinary problems”, he struggled academically, only to have completed ninth grade when he was 17 years old. And the school made “no meaningful intervention” before being involuntarily removed from the school in October for poor performance and excessive absenteeism.
Because of those absences, the report says, “the school district had virtually no information that could identify this attacker as a threat to a school campus.”
Although the shooter sent messages about the guns to some of his social media contacts, reports said he was going to “do something” that they would hear about on the news. The report said that some users may have reported the behavior on the social media platform, but the platform “has not done anything in response.”
The report said that prior to the shooting, several members of the shooter’s family knew that he had “sought help to purchase counterfeit weapons, which would have been illegal.” “The family members refused to buy weapons from him.”
CNN’s Simeon Prokupez and Matthew J. Friedman reported from Uvalde, while Dakin Andone wrote and reported on the story in New York. CNN’s Elizabeth Joseph reports from Los Angeles. CNN’s Rosa Flores and Kevin Flower contributed to this report.