A memorial outside Uvalde's Robb Elementary School CHANDAN KHANNA/Getty Images.

A new report on Uvalde's Robb Elementary shooting did not assign blame to local law enforcement and defended their response, angering family members of the victims.

The independent report, requested by Uvalde city leaders, reached a contrasting conclusion to other investigations of the deadly incident, in which a gunman killed 19 children and two adults. Some of the victims were trapped inside the school premises with the shooter for over an hour.

Investigator Jesse Prado said families who went to the school the day of the shooting compromised the police response. "One of the other issues on this incident was the crowd control. At times they were difficult to control, they were wanting to break through police barriers," Prado said.

The investigator did conclude there were failures, mainly lack of communication and improper preparation for active shooter situations. "There were problems all day long with communication and lack of it. The officers had no way of knowing what was being planned, what was being said (...) if they would have had a ballistic shield, it would have been enough to get them to the door."

However, Prado said he found no evidence that Uvalde city police forces, at the center of the blame, committed any wrongdoing or failure to follow training.

The report stands in contrast with one published by the Department of Justice in January, which found "cascading failures" in law enforcement's response to the situation.

The lengthy report, extending over 600 pages, concluded that police officers "demonstrated no urgency" in setting up a command post and didn't treat the situation as an active shooter one.

Uvalde's Robb Elementary CHANDAN KHANNA/Getty Images.

"The law enforcement response at Robb Elementary on May 24, 2022 — and the response by officials in the hours and days after — was a failure. As a consequence of failed leadership, training, and policies, 33 students and three of their teachers — many of whom had been shot — were trapped in a room with an active shooter for over an hour as law enforcement officials remained outside," reads a paragraph of a statement released by Attorney General Merrick Garland along with the report.

The victims and survivors of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School deserved better," he added.

At the time of the shooting, Robb Elementary School had some 600 students, almost 90% of them Latinos. According to 2020 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, almost 82% of the town's 15,200 residents identified as Latino. The shooter himself was 19-year-old Salvador Ramos, of Latino descent.

Police officers arrived in the scene less than three minutes after Ramos, but fled after he started shooting from inside a classroom and shrapnel hit two officers. Footage that surfaced in the following months showed police waiting in the hallway while Ramos was inside the classroom.

The images caused generalized uproar as it showed police refusing to engage for about an hour. Ramos was killed 84 minutes after arriving at the school.

Family members of the victims present at the report's presentation lashed out at the officials following the conclusions. "How do all of you live with yourselves?" said Kimberly Mata-Rubio, who lost her 10-year-old daughter, Alexandria "Lexi" Rubio, in the attack, according to NBC News.

"You guys paid somebody to do the investigation. ... In other words, this guy is saying the investigation the DOJ did was wrong," Vincente Salazar Sr., who lost his granddaughter Layla, told the council. "What kind of respect is that to these families? "

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.