Texas Tribune: Officers with AR-15s Were Scared to Confront Uvalde Shooter

Uvalde Police Department / Robb Elementary school shooting
Uvalde Police Department/body cam footage

A March 20, 2023, Texas Tribune report claims officers, many of whom were armed with AR-15s, were afraid to confront the lone Uvalde school attacker, who was allegedly armed with an AR-15.

The Tribune quotes numerous police officers from various departments explaining the reason they abandoned protocol for confronting mass shooters is that they heard other officers on the radio saying the attacker had an “AR-15” or an “AR.”

They note that Uvalde police department Sgt. Donald Page told investigators, “You knew that it was definitely an AR. There was no way of going in. … We had no choice but to wait and try to get something that had better coverage where we could actually stand up to him.”

The Tribune also points to a quote from former Uvalde police chief Pete Arredondo: “We’re gonna get scrutinized (for) why we didn’t go in there. I know the firepower he had, based on what shells I saw, the holes in the wall in the room next to his. … The preservation of life, everything around (the gunman), was a priority.”

Sheriff crime scene tape is seen outside of Robb Elementary School as State troopers guard the area in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022. An 18-year-old gunman killed 14 children and a teacher at an elementary school in Texas on Tuesday, according to the state’s governor, in the nation’s deadliest school shooting in years. (Photo by ALLISON DINNER/AFP via Getty Images)

But the Tribune also points out that none of the officers quoted in the report actually talked to the Tribune. As noted above, quotes from Sgt. Page and former chief Arredondo were drawn from investigative notes, and the means of gathering quotes from the individual officers was not explained. (The Tribune does say that one group of quotes was drawn from a recording on a state trooper’s body camera.)

Post-Columbine protocol for dealing with a mass shooter is to make entry and take the shooter out. The old days of setting up perimeters and waiting the suspect out are over. And the tactic of making quick entry to take out the shooter became a life-saving necessity when it became evident that time was not on law enforcement’s side.

For example, History.com noted that on April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho used two handguns to kill 32 people in ten minutes at Virginia Tech University.

The Tribune reports that the Uvalde officers, many of whom were armed with AR-15s, were scared to confront the lone shooter, who was also armed with an AR-15.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com.


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