New ALERRT Report: Uvalde Police Officer Had Clear Shot of Suspect Before He Entered School

( – A new Texas State University report on the Uvalde school shooting reveals the flaws in law enforcement’s response that prevented them from stopping the gunman from killing 19 students and two teachers.

After a gunman killed 21 people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022, the Texas Department of Public Safety requested that ALERRT assess the law enforcement response.

On July 6, the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University released a report titled “Robb Elementary School Attack Response Assessment and Recommendations.”

ALERRT breaks up its analysis of what went wrong into three different parts: “1) circumstances outside the building prior to suspect entering building, 2) initial officer response, and 3) changing environment leading to the eventual assault on room 111.” 

In the first part, the report names three key issues with law enforcement’s actions outside of the school prior to the suspect entering the building. The first issue was the fact that the exterior door through which the shooter entered, was unlocked the day of the shooting. Even if it had been locked, the door lacked the infrastructure it would need to prevent a gunman from being able to enter.


The second issue was that one of the first responding officers drove into the school parking lot at a rate too fast to where he was unable to see the suspect before he entered the building.

The third flawed circumstance prior to the suspect entering the building was the failure of a specific Uvalde Police officer to use deadly force to neutralize the subject. According to the report, a police officer had a clear shot on the suspect as he entered the school armed with a rifle. 

However, due to not receiving a response when requesting permission to shoot, the officer held his fire. As the report states, the officer in question would have been legally authorized to neutralize the subject under Texas Penal Code § 9.32, Deadly Force in Defense of Person, which justifies an individual’s use of deadly force “when the individual reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary to prevent the commission of murder (amongst other crimes).”

The report does not necessarily condemn the officer’s decision not to take the shot in this scenario: “if the officer was not confident that he could both hit his target and of his backdrop if he missed, he should not have fired.” 

The report then identifies three issues with the police response in the school building prior to the suspect entering rooms 111 and 112. First, the report speculates that despite an existing school policy mandating all doors inside to be locked, security camera footage shows no indication of the suspect engaging with the lock mechanism on the door to room 111, despite him being able to enter. This would imply that the door had not been locked as school protocols called for.

Additionally, the officers mistakenly divided up into two teams on opposite sides of the hallway, when the correct protocol is to stick together to avoid a “crossfire situation.” 

 “The third issue revolves around losing momentum,” says the report. More specifically, the initial officers inside the school retreated from the door to the classroom in which the gunman was holed up after hearing gunshots. This is in violation of what ALERRT tells first responders to prioritize in an active shooter situation: “first Stop the Killing and then Stop the Dying.”    

The report makes a point to “commend the officers for quickly entering the building and moving towards the sound of gunfire.” However, the suspect opening fire on the officers resulted in a loss of momentum. 

The third part of the report covers the time between 11:38:37 when the police teams became stagnant in the hallway after being fired at, and 12:50:03, when the door to room 111 was breached by police and the gunman was killed.

During this time of standstill, “a reasonable officer would have considered this an active situation and devised a plan to address the suspect,” the report says. Although ALERRT makes the assumption that the “officers believed the active shooter situation had transformed into a hostage barricade starting at 11:38:37,” the report criticizes the police for their prolonged inaction while awaiting backup. 

The report lists both gunfire and injured people as legitimate factors increasing exigency that “should have prompted officers to execute an immediate action plan.” Breaching tools, ballistic shields, tactical operators, and CS gas were all listed as factors that increased the officers’ capabilities of executing a plan. 

“While we do not have definitive information at this point, it is possible that some of the people who died during this event could have been saved if they had received more rapid medical care,” the report reads. 

Before its ‘Introduction’ section, the report notes the following: 

This report was created using school video, third party video exterior of the school, body cameras, radio logs, verbal testimony of officers on scene, and verbal statements from investigators. This report should not be considered a definitive or final report as all investigatory options have not been exhausted at this point. This report should be considered a living document. It is subject to changes as new or further evidence becomes available. This report is being compiled for the explicit purpose of identifying training gaps to be addressed by police officers across the state of Texas. The authors of this report are subject matter experts in their field of active attack incidents, patrol, and tactical operations with over 150 years of combined experience. These are the expert opinions based on experience, research, and studies of other incidents and not a formal accusation of the responders on this incident.


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