UVALDE, Texas — It has been several weeks since a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School. A new report brings light to the missed opportunities to stop him.
Terry Nichols is a retired police chief and a founding member of ALERRT at Texas State University. It is the same group that released the report on the Uvalde attack and response. In fact, he wrote a book about active shooter incidents, which was referenced in the 26 page report released Wednesday.
"It is absolutely disheartening to see that there were so many opportunities, as they pointed out, to stop this tragedy," he said.
Nichols said officers did not follow the main priority in an active training response: First Stop the Killing and then Stop the Dying.
"It did not," he said. Not in a timely fashion."
The reports states, officers could have taken down the gunman at least two different times before he entered Robb Elementary. The first, A Uvalde School District Police Officer sped past the shooter and didn't see him. Second, a Uvalde Police Officer saw the gunman approaching the school carrying a rifle and asked for permission to shoot. However, the report states the supervisor either didn't hear him, or responded too late and the gunman walked into the school.
"Having someone already fired off two rounds now walking toward the school with a rifle, you have to tell yourself nothing good is going to come out of this," Nichols said. "I had to take action. There is no time to ask for permission."
The report states three Uvalde police officers entered the school and approached the classroom where the gunman was shooting. The gunman fired at the officers and they retreated.
"When the rounds are going off we have to push," he said. We have to push."
As time went by more officers arrived in the hallway, which was also an issue, according to the findings.
"If you have two teams occupied in the hallway then we have a problem," he said. If someone pops out in between us, we are both going to be shooting at each other."
Nichols said the officers lost momentum. From when the first officers arrived on scene it took 1 hour, 11 minutes, and 26 seconds to kill the gunman. As the report states, lives could have been saved.
"We have taken an oath that we will put ourselves between innocent and evil," he said. And we raised our right hand and said I will do that to the best of my ability. I think that is where we lacked. We had the answers to the test. We had the tools we needed. We just failed to execute."
To read the entire report, click here.