The police failed to move quickly in Ovaldi. Experts say their inaction allowed the massacre to continue and led to dire consequences


CNN reported that while 18-year-old Salvador Ramos was inside the adjacent classroom, a group of 19 law enforcement officers stood outside the school’s classroom for about 50 minutes while they waited for room keys and tactical gear. Meanwhile, children inside the classroom repeatedly called 911 and asked for help, Texas officials said.

Colonel Stephen McCraw of the Texas Department of Public Safety admitted there were errors in the police response to Tuesday’s mass shooting. The leader is on site“It’s believed to have gone from an active shooter to a fortified subject,” said McCraw, who is also the Ovaldi School District Police Chief.

“It was a wrong decision. For a while. There is no excuse for that,” McCro said of the supervisor’s call not to confront the shooter.

‘Every second counts’ during active shootings

Thor Ailes, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association (NTAO), said the commander’s decision was “100% flawed.” He said the checkpoint calls on the officers to slow down their response, analyze whether the issue is alone and negotiate.

“If I’m in a classroom with innocent victims and I know there’s been a shooting, I need to get you involved. Even if you stop shooting, I’ll go into the room so we can start running life — providing assistance to any potential victims,” ​​said Ailes.

Ovaldi’s late police response, Ailes said, goes against the well-established active shooting protocol commonly taught after the 1999 Columbine school shooting.

How Columbine changed the way police responded to mass shootings

“Even under gunfire, officers are trained to face this threat because every second counts,” said CNN Law Enforcement Analyst Jonathan Wacker. “What we’ve seen here is that the delay cost the kids their lives, a complete stop.”

As the Columbine shooting erupted, Colorado police waited nearly an hour after the school shooting for emergency response teams to arrive, during which two young men killed 13 people.

Prior to Columbine, law enforcement generally trained in tactical principles called ICE, which meant isolation (suspect), containment (suspect), and evacuation (scene). After engaging with the ICE protocol, the police will require a specialized unit of tactical SWAT teams that will respond and engage the suspect or suspects, according to Ailes.

The Columbine shooting forced law enforcement to reprioritize their focus in responding to active shootings. After Columbine, Elles said, police began to act on behalf of those who were being harmed rather than protecting themselves. He added that first responders are also beginning to undergo tactical training to prepare for active fire, taking some responsibility out of the hands of SWAT teams.

There are no national guidelines to standardize law enforcement training and responding to active shooting situations. Ailes said the NTAO was the first to develop an active shooting curriculum and training courses, which have since been adopted or modified by other training organizations across the country.

The curriculum includes safety priorities to guide decision-making while officers respond to active shooting, based on a person’s proximity to injury or death. They were routed in all 50 states, according to Ailes.

All training prioritizes engaging the subject first. The list of safety priorities, Ailes said, puts hostages and innocent civilians a top priority, followed by law enforcement and then suspects.

As their tactics evolved, law enforcement realized that waiting even a few seconds to respond during an active shooting scenario could be disastrous, Els said. This has prompted police training organizations to develop a faster response strategy. Ailes added that officers are now learning to do everything in their power to stop the shooter as quickly as possible and even bypass helping the wounded.

“Unfortunately, this is a continuous and continuous learning process,” he said. “There’s a very good chance there are some important lessons learned from Uvalde, which may then find their way into our recommendations on how to change your reaction.”

Case shows how rapid response saves lives

Ailes referred to the 2013 shooting of a high school in Colorado, which shows how quick police response can lead to vastly different results. The shooting took place within two minutes, as a high school student ignited a Molotov cocktail and fired his rifle at the school, killing a 17-year-old girl.

CNN previously reported that the attack may have resulted in many casualties had it not been for the quick response of the deputy mayor who was serving as the school’s resource officer at the school. Upon learning of the threat, the deputy ran to the shooter, identified himself as the county sheriff and asked the people to come down. While containing the scene, the shooter committed suicide.

Victor Escalon, the regional director of the DPS school, said Thursday that police did not confront Ramos before he entered the school.

While active shooter protocols are widely recognized among the country’s 18,000 law enforcement agencies, the underlying issue is the decentralized nature of policing standards at the local, state and federal levels, according to Maria Haberfield, professor of police science at John Jay College. .

“The way Ovaldi’s officers responded is consistent with the fact that they likely did not receive the appropriate training,” Haberfield said. She said that local police agencies rely more on specialized tactical units.

A Texas official said the Ovaldi mass shooter was not confronted by police before entering school
All Texas law enforcement officers are trained to follow directions for dealing with active shooters. In March, the Uvalde Unified Independent School District hosted active shooting training for law enforcement officers in the Uvalde District, According to his Facebook page.

The manual states: “An officer’s first priority is to move and confront the attacker. This may include getting past the wounded and not responding to children’s cries for help.”

Ailes said the safety priority list would have served to guide the officers at that moment. He said the decision to wait in the hallway rather than breach the classroom door, put innocent civilians at risk while the shooter benefits.

“The whole time they were standing in the hallway, even while evacuating children, at the same time they had to deal with the suspect,” Ailes added.