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Texas probe cites 'systemic failures,' poor leadership in Uvalde school shooting

·2 min read

By Brad Brooks and Nathan Layne

July 17 (Reuters) - A Texas legislators' probe of the Uvalde school shooting that left 21 dead blamed "systemic failures" and poor leadership for contributing to the death toll, a report released on Sunday found.

The Texas House of Representatives committee investigation marked the most exhaustive attempt so far to determine why it took more than an hour for police to confront and kill the 18-year-old gunman at Robb Elementary School on May 24.

The 77-page report said 376 law enforcement officers rushed to the school in a chaotic scene marked by a lack of clear leadership and sufficient urgency.

"Other than the attacker, the Committee did not find any 'villains' in the course of its investigation," the report stated. "Instead, we found systemic failures and egregious poor decision making."

"The void of leadership could have contributed to the loss of life as injured victims waited over an hour for help, and the attacker continued to sporadically fire his weapon."

The report described "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 the authorities.

Video posted last week by the Austin American-Statesman newspaper showed police took cover in a hallway for 77 minutes before they stormed the two joined classrooms and exchanged fire with him.

Authorities said in May that frantic children inside the classrooms called 911 at least six times while officers waited in the hallway.

State Representative Dustin Burrows, who chairs the investigating committee, did not respond to a request for comment. Authorities were expected to give a press conference at 4 p.m. local time. (Reporting by Brad Brooks in Lubbock, Texas, and Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)