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Uvalde investigation: Texas House committe report on Uvalde school massacre outlines multiple failures by several entities


Uvalde, Texas
CNN

A preliminary report by the Texas House investigative committee probing the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers outlines multiple failures by several entities, including the overall law enforcement response, the Uvalde school system, the shooter’s family and social media platforms .

CNN has obtained and is reviewing the report, which was made available to the victims’ families Sunday morning. The families are expected to meet with the committee Sunday afternoon to discuss the report and its findings, which come more than a month after the committee began investigating the attack and law enforcement’s response.

It describes “shortcomings and failures of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and of various agencies and officers of law enforcement,” and “an overall lackadaisical approach” by authorities on the scene of the shooting.

But according to a copy of the report reviewed by CNN, through their investigation, the committee didn’t find any “villains” beyond the shooter.

“There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregious poor decision making,” the report says.

A source previously told CNN the report was expected to focus on the facts of the attack, include a chronological sequence of events, a timeline, a law enforcement manifest, and details on the shooter. It was also expected to clarify conflicting accounts of what happened, include verbatim quotes from sworn testimony, and show that the law enforcement failure that day was much greater than one person or one agency, one source has said.

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Members of the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police chief and officers, the district superintendent, the school’s principal, a teacher and custodial staff are among those who testified behind closed doors to the committee – with roughly 40 people testifying , according to one source.

Republican state Rep. Dustin Burrows, the committee chairman, said last month the group would do “everything in its power” to provide facts and answers about what happened “leading up to, during, and in the aftermath of this tragedy.”

Families of the victims were expected to receive the report and hallway surveillance video, with no audio, of the law enforcement response on Sunday morning to provide them with an opportunity to review it before meeting with members of the investigative committee.

Printed copies of the report were hand-delivered to Uvalde and Texas officials Saturday night out of fear the document might leak to the media before family members of the victims were able to read it, according to some of the officials who received the report.

The 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 blindsided and disrespected by the unexpected release.

Here’s what we know about the report

In to statement after the video was published by the paper, Burrows said that while he was glad a portion of the video was made public, he was “also disappointed the victims’ families and the Uvalde community’s requests to watch the video first, and not have certain images and audio of the violence, were not achieved.”

The investigative committee’s report and the video are expected to be released to the public concurrent with Sunday’s meeting with family members. A news conference is scheduled for Sunday afternoon for members of the press to ask the committee questions.

The report comes nearly eight weeks after an 18-year-old gunman walked into Robb Elementary and began firing inside a classroom, killing 19 children and two teachers. Key questions about the police response to the shooting have remained unanswered since. Principal among them: why authorities waited more than an hour in the school hallway before confronting and killing the gunman, a move that law enforcement experts say may have potentially cost lives.

DPS Director Col. Steven McCraw has condemned the law enforcement response to the attack, calling it an “abject failure” in a hearing before a Texas Senate committee last month and placed blame on the on-scene commander, who state authorities have identified as district police chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo.

“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering rooms 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander, who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” McCraw said at the time.

But Arredondo, who was placed on administrative leave by the school district, told the Texas Tribune last month he did not consider himself the incident commander and assumed that another official had taken control of the larger response. “He took on the role of a front-line responder,” the paper wrote of the chief.

Arredondo testified behind closed doors in Austin to the House investigative committee in June.

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