The horrific shooting, which occurred in Uvalde Texas, has been discussed on multiple platforms. The shooting occurred when an 18 y.o. coward, Salvador Ramos, proceeded to walk into the Robb Elementary school and began to open fire on both, children and teachers. While this was a horrific event that has devastated many families, this isn’t our focal point. Instead, we are focusing on the police department and how they (didn’t) respond.
It’s standard that officers are trained for deadly situations, this includes mass shootings. In fact, law enforcement agencies run drills for such events. With that in mind, it leads to one question: Why did it take the Uvalde police 77 minutes to stop the shooter? For this, we’re going to have to review the timeline of events. In doing so, we can make a determination of exactly how long it took the Uvalde police to actually respond.
While we can say that this event took place very recently, the shooting was actually planned long before it occurred. In September of 2021, we know that the shooter, with the assistance of his sister, bought a weapon. The reason for this is because, according to Federal law, you must be 18 years of age to buy a rifle. However, you must be 21 years of age to buy a pistol. Thankfully, in this situation, his sister declined his request.
At around March 1-3, 2022, images of weapons would be posted to the shooter’s Instagram account. On one such post, the shooter states the following, “10 more days.” To this, a user, ironically enough, asked about rather or not he had plans of shooting up a school. Around two months later, he would purchase weapons for the shooting.
The shooter’s final day
At roughly 11:00 AM, Ramos sent a Facebook message. This message was directed to a German girl that he had met online. In this message, he states that he planned to shoot his grandmother in the face. He than proceeded to carry out the act, however she called law enforcement. He than proceeds to steal her car and crashes it near Robb Elementary, the final phase of his diabolical plan.
We know that he arrived at the school at 11:28. two minutes later, a teacher made a call to 9-1-1, informing them of the urgent situation. As Ramos proceeded to the building, he had already begun to fire rounds. He entered the building at 11:33, where he would roam around the building with the intent of taking as many lives as he possibly could.
The critical time in this sequence is 11:35. This is the time police arrived on scene. Although they proceeded to the door, previously used by Ramos, it was found to be closed. This meant the police could not enter the building. Presumably through another door, the police proceed to enter. Upon doing so, they are met with gunfire which results in grazing wounds.
Now, to explain what a grazing wound is. In short, it means that the officers were hit, but it barely went into them. Basically, it’s a very minor wound. Regardless of the fact that they outnumbered the shooter, the proceed to evacuate the school, leaving the shooter to take more lives. Within minutes, 16 additional rounds are heard from within the building. At 11:43, in what can only be an amazing display of incompetence, the Uvalde Police take to Facebook, posting that the school is under lockdown due to a shooter. They go onto to say the following, “The students and staff are safe in the building.” Since this time, the post itself was deleted but how could they have posted something so blatantly untrue?
At 11:43, the police again post to Facebook. In this post they claim to have the shooter in custody. If you have been following this case, you already know that this information is untrue, the shooter was actually fatally shot by a lone border patrol agent. While this information may seem minor, it’s important to note one major problem: Ramos was still very much alive and he was still firing his weapons inside the school.
It would be at 12:50 PM, around 77 minutes after the shooting began, that a border patrol agent, who refused to wait for backup, entered the school. This one brave man ultimately did what the Uvalde police were to incompetent to do: he eliminated the threat. How could the police have gotten so much of this wrong? Now, it’s time we review that.
What went wrong?
From reviewing the timeline of events, it is very clear that the Uvalde police were incompetent. But why? As I mentioned, law enforcement agencies typically train for this sort of event. Based on the fact that they were so quick to flee the building and stand around, it’s clear that this department on how to handle this situation. For that, I don’t blame the officers personally. To simply state this, they have no control over the training procedures. The blame in this instance would go toward the local government and the police chief. These individuals are tasked with ensuring that their officers are capable of handling events such as this.
Moving beyond that, we can hold the officers responsible for their abrupt evacuation of the building. Because of this choice, many more lives were needlessly taken. While I can understand the concept of fear, it is also important to recognize that these are men and women who signed up to run into danger, not away from it. While they stood outside, as we’ve seen, they proceeded to provide false information to the public. Stating that the individual was in custody, long before his life would be ended, is appalling! Not only did the combination of these two things make the department look bad, but it has also created a massive backlash on social media, more on that shortly.
Shortly after the threat was eliminated, the police would again state that he was in custody. Now, I don’t think I need to state the obvious, but I will. There is a fundamental difference in being fatally shot and being in custody. How so? One infers that the offender is still alive while the other one is rather obvious. By stating that he was in custody, they provided more false information in that they gave the perception that Ramos was still breathing. Now, let’s go into that social media backlash.
As a result of the horrific mishandling of this situation, the department’s Facebook page has been met with heavy critique. Reviews that slam the department’s incompetence are very common. To quote one such review, “great place to shoot kids. All the cops are cowards. 0/10 would defund.” This, and many other reviews, demonstrate just how the public feels about this department. However, the department had demonstrated exactly why the “anti-police” movement has gone into full throttle. People have every right to be upset at this department, and they absolutely should be. What this department did was unethical, and as a result of the department’s choices, many more lives were taken.
It’s clear that this law enforcement department has some serious integrity problems. It’s also clear that their training is in desperate need of an overhaul. Though they will continue to get backlash, for sometime, we do hope that they take this opportunity to review their policies and procedures. Even with much needed changes, it will not undo the events of that day. To those families, we can only offer our deepest condolences.
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