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My most recent piece over at PJ Media deals with the May 24 horrors of Uvalde, more specifically what the police did and did not do when alerted to the gunman’s presence at the school. When I first learned of the massacre and the timeline originally disseminated, I assumed the first reports were in error, as first reports often are. I reasoned it couldn’t possibly have taken police more than an hour to locate and neutralize the shooter. Then, as more details emerged, the timeline remained largely unchanged. I waited until Friday to write about it in the expectation some justification for the delay would be revealed. None was, nor has it been since.
I remain aghast that the gunman was not shot until 80 minutes had elapsed from the first 911 call, and though I have no knowledge of the incident beyond what has been published in news reports, I do have some insight into how police supervisors cope when they find themselves suddenly thrust into a crisis. Some can handle it, too many others cannot. It would appear that Pete Arredondo, the school district police chief, falls into the latter category.
I will grant that I have never faced a situation so fraught as that which occurred in Uvalde, but I have served many search warrants in my police career, some of which did not go as planned when the entry was impeded by a suspect’s resistance or an unforeseen obstacle. The lesson is this: When Plan A isn’t working, you must switch to Plan B, and then to C and D if necessary. As I say in the PJ Media piece, if you can’t go through the door, try the window. And if that doesn’t work, break down a wall or chop through the roof – anything but wait.
Even if it was the case, as Arredondo is reported to have believed, that the incident had shifted from an active shooter to a barricaded suspect, there is still no excuse for such a lengthy delay in entering that classroom. Most gunshot wounds are survivable if the victim receives prompt medical attention, a service denied to those 19 precious children and their two teachers.
Cops can have all the equipment and training the world can provide, but it’s all useless if they’re not properly led.Published in