At Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a tiny town west of San Antonio, a gunman, 18, fatally shot two teachers and 19 students on May 24. Since 20 children and six adults were slain at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012, it was the deadliest school shooting.
What Took Place?
On May 24, at around 11:30 a.m., there were reports of a shooter outside the school, shortly after he had driven his pickup truck into a nearby ditch. Salvador Ramos, the shooter, was shot in the face by his grandmother earlier that day at her nearby home.
Mr. Ramos got out of the truck and proceeded into the school. He then went into a pair of adjoining fourth-grade classrooms and began firing.
19 children, two professors, and over a dozen additional people were injured in the incident. (See further reading on the victims.)
Many police officers from various agencies arrived at the scene, much to the chagrin of the parents who had gathered outside, but they resisted going up against the shooter.
Border Patrol agents stormed the classrooms more than an hour after Mr. Ramos entered the building and fatally shot him. (Read the attack’s minute-by-minute timeline.)
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Why Did It Take so Long for The Authorities to Act?
At least three investigations have been conducted on the matter, including one by a special Texas House committee, which published its conclusions on July 17.
The report, which was the first in-depth analysis of the police reaction to the shooting, contained severe criticisms of police behavior.
The report came to the conclusion that the order to confront the shooter could have been given much earlier, that “some victims could have survived if they had not had to wait” for rescue, and that the school police chief, numerous state police officers, and a large number of U.S. Border Patrol agents all engaged in “egregious poor decision making.”
A small number of cops ultimately decided to confront the shooter, the investigation revealed.
The Austin American-Statesman and KVUE aired a video from inside the school on July 11 that showed how authorities hesitated before addressing the shooter.
Pete Arredondo, the chief of the school police in Uvalde, who oversaw the district’s response to the incident, was fired by the school board on August 24. The unanimous vote was the first direct rebuke of the widely criticized police response, which Mr. Arredondo, via his attorney, called “an unconstitutional public lynching.”
Gun Control Is Once Again a Hot Topic.
Less than two weeks before the massacre in Uvalde, a racist shooting at a Buffalo grocery claimed the lives of 10 Black people. In Congress, where years of attempts to implement gun regulations have failed due to Republican opposition, the back-to-back horrific murders sparked a frenzy of discussions.
A bipartisan solution designed to prevent dangerous persons from obtaining firearms received final congressional approval on June 25, exactly one month after the shooting in Uvalde. President Biden then signed the bill.