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tv   Texas Senate Committee Holds Meeting on Uvalde Shooting  CSPAN  June 22, 2022 1:38am-3:55am EDT

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portion of the hearing.
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[inaudible conversations] >> we will start special committee will come to order it will ask the clerk to call the roll. [roll call]
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a quorum is present you seem to copy of the proposed committee rules are very similar during session and the one we had in transportation. do i hear a motion to accept those rules? any objection? the rules are adopted. welcome everybody here this morning before we begin i like to observe a moment of silence to remember and honor the 19 students, two teachers and 17 injured in a tragic shooting. [silence] thank you. what the programming noted like to make clear anyone who
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would like to testify during these hearings are welcome to do so. please fill out a witness card and return it to our staff when we get to public testimony we would like to ensure anyone here from the community testifies first so please indicate on your witness cards we can identify that they are available outside the chamber and we anticipate this will last a substantial amount of time he like to send settlement time for today at midnight so the committee members and the public can get some rest so we can begin at 9:00 a.m. we will cover three of the five areas we'll start with police training school safety social media we will cover mental health and firearms safety and with that in mind i would like to think governor
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abbott for the leadership over the last several weeks and specifically think lieutenante governor patrick for trusting me to lead this committee topics we will cover are sensitive in nature and a will be difficult to talk about but nonetheless protecting schoolchildren is the most pressing issue facing us today i would be remiss if i did not acknowledge this is the third special senate committee in three different entrance to cover these issues much as been done over the past several years but clearly it has not been enough numbers of the senate who are here today are not membersrs of the committee it's important that the hearing bee opened up any hearing of the senate to i participate in a state wide issue we would like to welcome
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those as well and to make opening comments and then indicate to us to make a question or comment i would like to ask the committee members come to the hearing without any specific policy outcomes it'smp important that we open any recommendations presented over the next two iddays we cast a wide net and preparing for the hearing understanding of multifaceted issue has many different solutions it sits across public education, criminal justice system lawse enforcement and second amendment rights those systems failed. it's time for this body to have an honest conversation i
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would like to introduce my cochair and thank you for serving on the committee helping the staff prepare for hearings your collective ideas who should testify should be brought forward now we will go to open comments if anybody has any and i will start with the vice chair. >> i went to think governor abbott for asking the lieutenant governor to create committeeses to consider and. the issues as you talked about as a crossroads very eloquently stated there is no
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issue more grave or important in those circumstances that led to thisnd horrific act in keeping the evil from taking lives in the future thank you to governor patrick for allowing me to serve on this committee with my esteemed colleagues in preparation for the hearing i have visited every superintendent or personnel of over 70 school districts within my senate district i represent three of the largest school districts in the state of texas as well as some of the smallest a reach out to gather ideas and thoughts of how to keep children safe in a learning environment with hours of conversation conference calls and zoom calls i was inspired by their resilience and determination to take the lessons learned to make the
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school district better and safer mentioning your health is an issue especially as the result of the covid lockdown expressed the need for mental health support and also mentioned the need for more school resource officers and training for their own personnel menus the guardian program and are extremely supportive of this program. there continues to be challenges with the need for more upgrades and tools many ideas will be considered but to say it best one of those calls we hold institutions accountable that we don't hold the individuals accountable a superintendent that i visited on my drive here said senator
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there are just so many issues but at the heart of it it is a societal issue we need help for moms and dads to be involved in their children's lives we learn from pain not tragedy and hopefully we will learn from that committees findings to leave no stone unturned up to this 19 children and the two children's when destitute teachers we await to them we honor the lives by seeking truth and facts and knowledge. the perpetrator was a fellow shining light into the
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darkness o evil will always be with us but it's up to us to a good and moral society to have action in the future and allow a safe and free society to keep all texans safe. thinking mr. chairman and members of the forward to serving you the next two days in the days and weeks and months to come. >> thank you chairman as well as the lieutenant governor to put these excellent numbers together to work on making our schools more safe. i know we all share the sentiments that we are the
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people texas, not only answers for the things that took place in the harm that was done , that the legislative body to appropriate funds to set up programs that we have to be willing to follow the money and follow up and diligent to make sure we don't just advance policy whether mandates or audits whatever it may be we have to be sure that over 5 million kids in public schools are safe and we have to protect the students and these teachers i look forward to the testimony today i know
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we will all be working together to find solutions that are realar and we're all dedicated to the outcomes that we seek for texas schools to be safe thank you mr. chairman. ma>> thank you mr. chairman members of the committee listening to testimony that would be very compelling and moving and i believe very instructive i hope all of us can play on —- pray for inspiration that we make the right recommendations that we listen to all of the solutions offered because we have to take action it's important but is not enough and actions be
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louder than words we have an incredible responsibility as a group. a we must take action and make a difference not only having before the district and in addition to that i still have vivid vivid memories of that having exposed like that stays with you always and i feel so deeply for those of been impacted in the i shootings we have had specifically in our state that people texas want us to make decisive decisions the people of texas taking action i hope all of us have the courage and the inspiration to do the right thing thank you mr. chairman and members.
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>> iac do want to think the governor for allowing me to serve on this committee it has been an issue for the state for a long time it has been fearlessly supportive of second amendment rights without having a a discussion about those rights and limits associated and then republican jerseys at the door within the i best interest of texas as well
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as parents and every step that i take in asking questions and testimony of witnesses among other questions if we have done enough to ensure that parents and texas the children would be safe and schools. and then just to think about the fanta beings unsafe in schools that we at this designated point as elected
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officials and the history and the state of texas to reassure our parents children will be safe making recommendations to assure their children will be safe and reassure the teachers we want to ask them to be on guard in the classroom that they focus of teaching our kids if this ends up a partisan divide further
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intensifies the attention whether our children are safe during the next concession one other point i like to make i really believe we should invite teachers testimony also if we are talking about school safety and those organizations being invited to the input of the deliberation process i would ask you to take a look at that if we need to invite teacher organizations and then coming up with solutions to reassure parents that their children will be safe from the next school year and beyond. >> thank you to the governor
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thank you for your leadership the staff member we look forward to your leadership to discuss the issues before us thinking mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman i share the sentiment of those who have gone before me and the opportunity to serve in with this sentence sadness in an effort to prevent from murders ever happening again there are many dynamics that we could get c to as a causal relationship for what happened there are many-b dynamics that affect the mental well-being in our society at large and
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the problems started well before. >> . >> it's tough f to be here today and with that process we have a lot of reports and statistics and a lot of the check the boxes at every level to have a security plan to check the plan not to hide the
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assetsts but specifically what that should look like we have districts that spend millions on infrastructure yet didn't take advantage of that technology to heart suspending $9 million in the health arena if we get out what we say what we're doing and then to go through that process a lot of boxes were checked and had the follow-through happened the hearing would not have been necessary for that.
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salon that practical side of life that we face but also understanding the next shooter is already walking the streets it's the world that i live in. my job is to thwart the success but for anyone to believe that will prevent the attempt to be naïve and do not recognize the enemy that is a win for the other side we need to be honest they will be here from dayda number one and how do
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we prevent to the best of our abilities to have success in that arena. it is a lot of money anyone here testimony tomorrow but then four years later the program is still getting kicked off they cannot let that s slide anymore we have to hold people accountable or we just checked the box and move on. we don't have the luxury to move on anymore we have to stayy on top. thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman to
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be appointed of this committee with the facts of what has happened i have never seen an entire public policy career facts that have changed 180 degrees from one week to the next we cannot write laws if we don't have good facts because then you have bad law. and i hope today with the witnesses that we have we get near to the bottom of the facts. and it started with the initial reports of having a her awake standoff with a police officer.
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with this group of senators and the senators that are also in the chamber there will be no stone unturned to get to the bottom of the facts because texans deserve the facts. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator hughes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. glad to be on this committee with you. we know how you operate and we
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are glad that you are leading us through this. it's all been very well said. at the ground would be covered before it gets to me but like each of you. a serious responsibility that we take seriously as we take the information there will be things that will all hash out certainly there are things we can agree on to make a difference so to be a
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part of this committee i am here to work. >> thank you i've got several non-committee members that have asked to make an opening statement. senator. let's try to keep it under three minutes. thanks. >> thank you, chairman and colleagues. it's an important part of what we have to do as legislators. i will tell you that the last 28 days have been deeply personal to me and it's probably good that i was sitting here rather than sitting around the table. i want to acknowledge some of the things that happen and i will try to be brief, chairman.
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i've made it a point to be there every day the last 28 days. i think of the 28 days, i've been there 20. for the first 14, i didn't leave. i left my home at 5:30 in the morning and got home at 1 a.m. every night. i've spoken to families of those of all the deceased. i've spoken to all of the families of the injured children. i've heard of the most gruesome stories from little kids, fourth graders and i dare not say at this time.
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i would be glad to talk to you all privately of what the little kids heard and saw that day. most importantly i want to tell you what the first day was like as i arrived and saw many of our own troopers and police at the scene of a civic center. that night was called a reunification center for parents that hadn't yet received their children or were waiting to give their dna samples and to be matched whether they are in the hospital and whether they had succumbed. you all are fixtures in this room. you fix things. that's why we do this. at that today i couldn't fix anybody. families were huddled in prayer. to put my arm around them and
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tell them i am here for you. they wanted to be just alone with their loved ones waiting. as they received the most horrific news any of us with children or any rational person would ever want to hear it turned into the most awful screams -- that you could imagine. these women and their husbands walked to their cars screaming in tears and crying, sounds that were not normal tears, they were crying. i wanted to come to you today,
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chairman, not to rub anything in anybody's face or tell us to vote a certain way, but to tell you you don't want to live 14 days straight in a community talking to those families and hugging them finally even though that first day i just couldn't. i didn't have the power in me to deal with that and those emotions for those people so i stayed back talking to law enforcement. through the last four weeks i became their friend, console her and someone who says we are not going to leave. you said the systems failed them and you are right we failed them. you have another function today
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which i'm very glad that you've suggested we are going to cover which is the law enforcement response and i was heartened to hear the lieutenant governor's statement last night on social media where he said we were going to get to the bottom of this in an open process because we live in a democracy and in a democracy, things need to be transparent so i commend you for that. the laws are the things we need to change. to your point, senator. , we have 8,000 school campuses. 8,000. we've got to do more than $100 million in school hardening. we've got to find of the well and the money to do that. we have a mental health crisis in this country and in the state and we have to find money to attach to it.
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to find common sense gun solutions with 65% of the republicans in my community telling me we need to raise the age limit i could tell you that an 18-year-old shouldn't be able to go into a store like he's going to be 711 to bias p but that's what happened here. i will not keep you. you have an important work to do. i told you i would respect this body entirely and i thank you for allowing me to ask questions if they are not covered and i assure you i will be respectful and i will close with one last thing, mr. chair. i don't want you or anybody else to have to do for your constituents but i've had to do the last four weeks. thank you. >> senator hall.
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>> the chair recognizes senator hall. >> thank you, mr. chair man for indulging me and thank you, members. i listened carefully to what each of you had to say and there were some wise statements that were made, and i think that's what we have to be is very wise and what we are doing. thinking where we are with this the next perpetrator is already out there. it's what do we do to minimize what's going to happen because we've got to keep in mind what we can affect with law and we don't want to fool ourselves by thinking we just check the box bypassing the law that we then think is going to do something. we have to make a serious look at the root cause and recognize
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there are things we cannot legislate. we can't legislate integrity or responsibility. we just can't so people do what's right and to say we pass a law would stop the crime. we have cities like chicago that have the strongest possible gun laws i don't think there's one that doesn't exist in chicago yet they are used on a daily basis and we have to keep in mind when someone decides to break the law by killing someone and they are putting their life on the line knowing they are probably going to die doing it, just having it back up, a misdemeanor or felony isn't really a deterrent. so i think we need to look at getting to the root cause of what we've had in these young people that if you look at the incredibly rapid increase in
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juvenile delinquency, anger, dysphoria, general behavior anger, one report on the background of this young man that basically had been cast aside by society. we look at what's being taught to our young folks that is counter to the innate understanding of what's right and wrong and we put a lot of money into mental health and how do we fix it after that happens it's like worrying about people getting our code and buying extra band-aids as a solution to it. i think out of this, we've got to step way ahead of walls to what is the root cause and why
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are these young people entering into a state of mind where they want to hurt other people like this. what is it that's happening that's different than what was happening before so that as we come out of this i recognize there are things we can't change and do more of and hold people accountable. one of the biggest things is the failure to hold people accountable for the crimes committed. that's not a deterrence but the big thing i hope we come out of this a step ahead of this step beyond the thick doors and look at the root cause that causes a person to want to harm someone. it doesn't take a gun. this man had enough time to do with with his hands were baseball bat so it's not the gun, it's the person and if we
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can come out of something to change, but we are doing that is leading the kids into this state of mind, i think we could call that a success. >> thank you mr. chairman and members. >> thank you, senator hall. >> senator, did you want to make any comments? we will go to the first witness and philip atkins. members, i think it probably would be helpful if each of us has questions we are going to want to ask. let's let him go through his entire presentation first.
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while you are getting ready after their presentation, the next step would be the commission of law enforcement and to advance law enforcement rapid response if you want to come down i think wve got some chairs out here. >> senators, public safety, as senator gutierrez noted, it's been 28 days since the the simpt massacre at rob elementary school. much has been done but much more needs to be done before this is
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completed. with the district attorney for her review. we do know this. there is compelling evidence the law enforcement response to the attack was an abject failure and we learned the last two decades since the columbine massacre three minutes there was a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract and neutralize the subject. the only thing stopping the dedicated officers in 111 and 112 was the commander who placed the lives of officers over children. the officers had weapons, the children had none. the officers had a body armor, the children had none.
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they had training, the subject had none. one hour 14 minutes and 80 seconds. that's how long the children waited and the teachers waited to be rescued. while they waited, the commander waited for radio, then he waited for shields, then he waited for slot and last a key that was never needed. the post columbine doctrine is clear and compelling and unambiguous. stop the killing, stop the dying. you can't do the former, you can't do the latter unless you do the former. certainly some things were done well. the teachers quickly implemented active shooter protocols prior to gaining entry in fact one was
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able to call 911 and report that before the subject entered the campus. law enforcement were able to evacuate hundreds of children in a safe and orderly manner. the district attorney and staff lead to tireless efforts to take care of the victim's aid of their families in the aftermath and the senator talked a little bit about the victim identification and victim notification. it's always a priority after such a tragedy. very difficult to do and she did an outstanding job trying to handle that situation. bringing the different resources from the agencies at the time. importantly, before i go over the timeline i want to cover one more thing if you don't mind and with your permission to review
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some of the events. it's just important to note this isn't just an investigation. we worked closely from the beginning with all federal agencies and in on the investigative side of the fbi covered leads throughout the country into the world and also enhanced the videos with technology capabilities. very important to do to get to the facts to see exactly what happened because one thing is witness statements and the other is video and audio recordings. we are grateful to them and for the weapons involved in ammunition. the efforts continue so again we are not done at this point in time and we won't be done until the district attorney is satisfied.
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i can tell you just a quick overview of the subject. at the time of his death, he was 18-years-old and lived with his grandparents .29 miles from the elementary school. in fact he attended the elementary school one year, fourth grade in the classroom he was killed. he was on social media and gaming platforms. what's disturbing about some of the communications is that over time when you look at them it's as though he's communicating with people if not supportive of the school shooter community, was such a thing but certainly empathetic and sympathetic as if they support like it's a good thing. you get points for being the shooter and it's obviously disturbing. as a result of that, several
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messages if we go back and look and ss after the fact what could we have done to prevent this from happening and that was the call. yes we responded well but what can we do to prevent it and that was the focus and still continues to be the focus. we have yet to identify even one report to the school were to law enforcement that discussed animal cruelty, suicidal, fatalistic loner who had sympathies and had been called a school shooter. he certainly took on the persona of a school shooter in dress and demeanor over the last year and people noted this but yet it didn't get reported so clearly, we did have and the fbi behavioral analysis to independently look at this and
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ask the question could we have intervened, if we had known could we have done something and the answer is almost overwhelmingly yes. so there's always things that could have been done and that is why it's so important that the public reports this even if it is suspicious. give us a chance. we arrested a 13 and 14-year-old for the planning and attack on the high school in 2018 and they were charged with attempted murder. that's what it looks like because the public reported it and it was investigated. i mentioned a number of statements also at least eight months prior to the attack, he was moving towards what they would call a pathway to violence. he would ask a family member to purchase him a weapon. he was 17-years-old at the time after he dropped out.
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other messaging and conversations, he also began buying things and several purchases for accessories specifically magazines. he purchased magazines and high-end optics and he had money in the bank, bank joint bank account and i can't discuss the specifics but he had money in the joint account with his grandmother and used a debit card to make those online purchases, several at least a six prior up until the day of the attack gradually to the date dayof his birthday, may 16th. he was eligible to purchase a weapon and he purchased the 5.6-millimeter rifles, one a higher inversion of it. as many as 1,740 rounds through an online retailer and was able
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to purchase later and another 375 rounds of ammunition within that same couple of days period. we know that on may 14th, he placed online, messaged on the social media platforms, various ones ten more days. if someone responded what are you going to do, shoot up a school? >> no, you will see. those words are out there but not reported. and of course very disturbingly many messages had occurred on the day of the attack may 204th to a number of different friends telling him to delete messengers and lines you will see what's going to happen. and in communication many times with messaging and earlier face time with a 15-year-old juvenile in germany at the time and,
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quote, i'm going to shoot my grandma in the head and later i just shot my grandma in the head and i'm going to go shoot up in elementary school. that was 11:21 when that happened. with your permission i would like to go to the timeline. these events are taken from audio, video body camera, 911 tapes, so there is not subject to interpretation, simply subject to transcription. you have a copy of the timeline in front of you and i will begin on page one. i will try to quickly go through them. 11:28.
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i will round up the times, not the sec. but i will go in order. the subject crashes his vehicle into a ditch. this was the intersection and front of the school, in front of a funeral home. the subject to didn't have a driver's license, the subject couldn't drive and when he did drive, he was described as having problems taking a turn, so people wonder why crashing like he did when he attempted to turn almost left but then crashes into a ditch, a concrete ditch right in front of the school if he's really going to the school to do something, what is the destination, the destination was the elementary school, there's no question about it. once he crashed, two males from the funeral home went out to see how he was. at that point, it was 11:29 and we heard a teacher. this teacher was inside the school by the way. observant enough inside the
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school, she called 911 and reports a man with a gun. 11:31 the suspect began, had shot at the individuals that came from the funeral home. he shot three times at them. one of the individuals got up and continued on and reported that leader. 11:31 the suspect began shooting at the school. there's classrooms on the west building that we have the diagram on my left you can see. this right here you can see the location and the west entrance. with your permission if i could stand up, chair man, to be able to point that out.
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this is a diaz street. this is the funeral home, this is where he crashed, right here. the crash location, makes a turn and crashed. it was his grandmother's pickup truck that he crashed. he climbed out of the passenger's side and took one rifle in his backpack at that point and that's when he shot at those two individuals. ran back to the funeral home then moves to the fence that is approximately 4 feet, throws the bag over, jumps over the fence and proceeds in this direction in the red on your chart the direction the subject is moving. as he moves in this area, once he moves along this area and gets into this area right here, he begins shooting into the classrooms is what he's doing. initially right here and i go
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back up to the timeline -- he shot 27 times as he walked along here. he dropped the backpack here, for no apparent reason. he was situated right here among cars at the time, and as he walked, he shot into these classrooms. there's two classrooms he shot into. there is windows on each and he was firing into those classrooms. he proceeded to the west building or the west entrance of the building we are calling the west and this is east and this is the south entrance. he proceeded in and opened the door. it was open. it was unlocked. we heard about a teacher putting
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a rock, that did happen but that the teacher also removed the rock and it was the same teacher that called 911 and reported a man with a gun outside of the school and the crash. also the school goes into lockdown. active shooter. and immediately they get the kids and follow the protocols. they did what they were supposed to do. one of those things is to walk the classrooms where the kids are out, lower the lights and put them in a particular area of the furthest away from the windows and doors as possible. as the teachers were trying to protect the kids through the entire campus, he entered the west building here. i can tell you from the door aspect, we can discuss this a little bit later -- you might have questions on it -- but it was open and he walked in.
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this is where he is and a red readindicates the subject. he walks in and about 20 feet from when you walk into this corridor, this hallway, this is the north-south hallway, he turns left and approaches, and you can't tell from the video -- the challenge with the video is the fisheye location. the video that we have the view is really distorted. you can see all the way to hear and not very far over here from the first iteration. second, it's better we sent back to quantico. un hands the second time you can see much of what's going on. he provided a much clearer way for us to document exactly what happened in that hallway over that one hour, 14 minutes and 80seconds. the subject is here. what you can't see is which classroom he's shooting into it exactly, but he's shooting at
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111 or 112 initially. overall there were 24 rounds recovered out here and 27 in the hallway. some of those could have been as first responders were trying to save lives but for right now when we finish the trajectory analysis we will be able to tell you how many exactly were fired when the subject entered and how many were fired out by the subject, but right now we have 27 rounds recovered in the hallway. it wasn't in this direction, it was this direction here. he walked to the door, opened the door and walked in. then we hear shooting. as the timeline suggests with audio enhancement we can hear how many shots are fired. the initial firing occurred 100 rounds within the next couple of minutes. you can go up on the timeline
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here. shooting at 111 and 112. he enters 11:33. thirty-two seconds after he entered, he entered 11:33. crash, 11:28, 11:33 he enters and within seconds shooting and enters what we believe 111 and begins shooting. more than 100 rounds fired initially and another 11 rounds were fired as officers were approaching. the walls inside of the interior or sheetrock and bullets go through. two of them were grazed and treated.
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11:36 we had three officers in the west door. seven offices in the building at 11:36. that's pretty quick time considering the different factors. there was never a school resource officer on the scene. the school resource officer did respond and he responded the location. a man with a gun on campus, in the vehicle and responds rampantly and as he does he sees what he thinks is the subject back here. it wasn't the subject. it was a teacher. he drives directly toward the
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subject, the teacher, and says i'm now with the subject so it had been reported on the radio man with a gun at the school, after a crash. he thinks he has the subject and he drives quickly over 50 miles an hour going towards the subject, and unfortunately that wasn't the subject. the subject was right here. he passed the subject. that's why some of the confusion early on. the doctrine for active shooters is clear. we mentioned before. you stop the killing and stop the dying. the other part of the doctrine is you isolate, distract and neutralize. we practice it and preached it. this is the doctrine and its
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recognize that you run to the sound of gunfire. when you get the gun fire, you don't stop. when you get there, you run into the gunfire, and it's important to do so. i've said it before, there's no doubt in my mind those officers would have gone in and sacrificed their lives for those children. any one of them if they knew there were kids in that room and teachers in that room. those officers would have. 11:40 [inaudible] contain is a barricaded subject contain is a situation you may have a hostage and need a swat team so you have time. you contain and communicate with the subject, the new call for swat and create an immediate action plan. that's not what this was.
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this was never anything more than an active shooter situation. but at some point, contained. then we call the police department and he didn't have a radio with him. this is the conversation that he had and you can read it yourself in your notes for the purposes of this. can you hear this. in emergency right now inside the building. a man has an ar 15. he shot a whole bunch of times. there's a lot of firepower. we need the building surrounded. as many ar 15's as possible. can you hear me, can you hear me? dispatch responded and asked what room number. is the teacher with him, is the teacher with him?
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is she in the room? can you hear him? dispatch her, i'm right here. is the teacher with him in the classroom? dispatch her, room 102. another person possibly shot across from her. room 102 is 112 for the accurate number. he's in the room with an ar 15. he hasn't come out yet. he's surrounded. let all know that he is in room 111 or 112 and we are here in the hallway. sergeant, we need this place surrounded, we need to swat a st outside the building in the nearest location of the funeral home. dispatch confirms. swat location.
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they need to be outside of the building prepared because we don't have enough firepower. right now he has an ar 15. get the swat team set up by the funeral home. yes, i need more firepower in here because we have pistols and this guy has a rifle. if somebody can come in. the dispatcher, chief. i'm going to drop it when he comes out of the door, all right, so i need you to bring a radio for me. give me my radio. and a rifle. hold on, i'm trying to set him up. i'm going to set him up right now. do me a favor, call me when swat is set up. call me twice if you have to. okay. thank you.
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questions have been asked about who's in charge. people believe and what the year with the fbi shows up, no they are not in charge. when other agencies show up, they are not in charge. the original agency that has the jurisdiction is in charge. but you have options. you have the authority and endure the ranking official, senior official site, you can delegate that down. in my case in terms of sound decision-making you can delegate to another agency or ask another agency to take the lead. it's a common practice in command. we practice that in texas, we very carefully -- and you will find when you talk to the experts in the training program, self deploying is a risk, deciding who's in charge, deciding it on your own to take action without being properly coordinated as a risk. it's one of the challenges you have in these type of
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situations, but nevertheless in terms of if you're going to issue commands, if you're going to direct action for the ranking official from the agency that has jurisdiction for the commander. gunfire happens again 11:40. he fires again. room 111, 112. they don't expect this children and teachers in the room. we believe he's barricaded in one of the offices. they are still shooting. more misinformation. he's not barricaded in an office. he's in a classroom, 111 and 112. the door is locked. the uvalde officer replies i'm not sure. we have a hooligan, a tool to break the lock and move in at
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the door. 11:41, they responded to the east hallway. the fire marshal, so officers continue to flood into this particular area. so we had 11 to begin with and add another four officers. the trooper is the first officer to arrive -- >> we've got to ask you as best you can to speak into the microphones of the system can pick it up. if you could pick the microphone up -- >> how about that, sir? >> very good. >> thank you, chair. 11:42 we had a trooper and officers enter from the east hallway. less than two minutes look around because at that point in time there's multiple officers 11:44 another suspect brought
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around. 11:44, later in officer available to get everybody back. officer ruben reese and one of the sergeants actually drove the officer reese to the scene. he enters at that point in time. you need to get out of the hallway. the officer notes she's been shot, he got a call about his wife in room 112 and later died. in officers as you need to get out of the hallway, which in officer response chief is in there, chief is in charge right now, hold on.
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11:51, they enter the west door. there had been a call for board hack in route. these are agents that first responded. 11:52, the shield enters the west door. 11:52, later officers are showing up. can you help with crowd control. so officers after 11:52 are being diverted to crowd control activities. 11:53 an officer informs an agent what they need right now is a perimeter. whether there are still kids inside to which the agent responds if there is, they just need to go in. someone comments about whether there is still kids and he responds if there is, they just need to go in, he enters the west building and is directed on where the suspect is focused on. this is from a body camera and you will note any information i'm using right now -- its color
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coded, so when it's blue it's body camera and video surveillance, whether it's the funeral home, is indicated on the uvalde recordings as well and you have that in the booklet. after some time, the officer said are there kids in there, we need to go in right now, what's that? whoever is in charge will recommend that. if there is kids and their we need to get them. later on they said look for kids and they found a young boy in the restroom of the west building that was hiding and went outside to search other classrooms. the channel recording, again, it's critical to let the police department to take the point. after an officer was asked where the shooter is, and another officer advised the school chief of police is in there with him.
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a 911 call is a public plea and it's heart wrenching to listen to her. she's in room 112. the only child and 112 that was not injured. there were eight children and two teachers killed in that room and she was uninjured. nine children were injured in room 112. 12:03 the second shield enters and 12:0 for the third enters the west door. yet there's no action. 12:09. an officer, go around and get to the master key for the rooms. they arrive at the elementary school at 12:09 or 12:10, and i think the first board of members went into the building at 12:15. then at that time, the uvalde requested the master key and the chief gives instructions to officers to have a sniper on the
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east roof. master key was more than one. any time the locks were changed there was another master key for that flock so you may find a master key, but there's two master keys. you have to have both so there was frustration about this one doesn't work, it doesn't work because it is and for the that door. 12:16 the chief says i just need a key. the chief says tell them to wait. no one comes in. 12:20. the fourth shield shows up. 12:21, importantly, the suspect fires four rounds. so if this is a barricaded subject, why is he still firing? thank you.
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the chief says at 12:28 -- let me back up to 12:21, can you get a breaching tool like free trailer house. the chief, we've lost two kids, the walls are thin. he starts shooting, we are going to lose more kids. i have to say we have to put those to the side right now. uvalde chief attempts to communicate with the suspect in english and spanish. the entire communication was only one way. there wasn't communication. we are talking. the officer there was a teacher shot, which the officer replies i know. at the chief, people are going to ask why we are taking so
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long. we are trying to preserve the rest of the lives. the chief, do we have a team ready to go, do we have a team ready to go? have at it. 12:27. 12:28 the chief, there's a window over there obviously the door is going to probably be locked. that is the nature of this place. i'm going to get more keys to test. 12:28. the chief, these master keys are not working here. we have master keys and they are not working. the chief at 12:30, okay. we've done everything except for that room. we still have people down, just past the flag to the right but we are ready to breach, but that door is locked. 12:33. the chief i say we breach the windows and shoot through the windows. this is an hour and a half after
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he entered the building. an hour after he entered the building. 11:35, the hooligan tool arrives to the west door. 12:38, the chief communicates with the suspect in english and spanish. 12:41, the chief says just so you understand, we think there's injuries and their. and so you know, what we did, we cleared the rest of the building so we wouldn't have any more. 11:42, the chief says we have a problem getting into the room because it's locked. he's got an ar 15 and is shooting everywhere like he's crazy. 12:43. uvalde chief we've got to get that door open, bro. they can't get the door open. we need marquise or something. 12:46, the chief says are you ready to do it, you do it. to distract him out that window.
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11:47, a sledgehammer enters from the east hallway. 11:50 at the time there was a stack of seven officers that went in and four of them went directly in bags the door closed as happens in operations and three enter thereafter. five officers fired rounds at the subject killing the subject at that time. that concludes the timeline. i know you may have some questions on the door and other questions that i'm ready to discuss right now with some of the pictures that we have. thank you for the opportunity. >> okay. so you're ready to get to some questions right now. i have a couple and then we will
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open it up. you said the outside door was unlocked. now, as i understand it, at one time there was a rock and the teacher removed the rock and closed the door or i heard slammed the door. we don't know really what to believe because we have heard so much stuff. but it was the door closed and did the lock just not work? >> the only way you can lock the exterior doors, there's four of them, one, east, west and south, the only way to do it is from the outside. you can't do it otherwise. so, when she knocked the rock out it closed securely but there is no way for her to tell if the door is unlocked. the only way to know is to go out, close the door, then try it. that's the only way you can tell on this particular model. >> but he came straight through the door with no problem. >> it was unlocked and he came
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straight through it. >> did you check the lock leader to see if it was malfunctioning? >> the locks were working fine. oleic exterior they were working fine. but i can tell you looking at the picture here you don't need a key to get into the building. it could have been locked. this glass doesn't have mash. all you need to do is shoot through, reach in. there's a bar, pull that and you're in. the subject would have known that. anybody can look at that and tell it's easy to shoot and reach around? the first question was the lock was functioning correctly. >> it was functioning correctly and the door was unlocked. it was closed but unlocked. >> i thought when it closed it was supposed to automatically lock. >> you can set it to two
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sections. it's the actual door and the interior as well. you can turn it one direction it's unlocked and another direction and it's unlocked. >> so it was working functionally, it was just turned in the position when you close it it doesn't lock. >> someone didn't lock the door, and similarly, the south door which i described officers going in early on, that was unlocked as well. >> second thing, okay you may have said what i was fixing to ask, but the classroom door, was it locked or unlocked? >> the classroom door, if we can get a picture of this -- this is probably the best example. this is in the actual door, this is the actual door but we don't really want to use that. this is room 127 and 126.
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this is what 111 and 112 would look like in that regard. you cannot lock this door from the inside of the classroom. there's nothing the teacher can do to lock the door from inside. she can come outside the classroom as the requirement is to lock the door with a key. this right here like turning it in the locked position. and this came from the west building, one of the doors right here and i can demonstrate that if you would like at this time. >> so the teacher couldn't even lock the classroom door from the inside? >> that's correct. there's no way to lock the door from the inside and there's no way for the subject to lock the door from the inside. >> we heard reports the lock was malfunctioning and they requested for the lock to be
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fixed. is that fictitious? >> we had a locksmith inspect the lock and it was functional. what isn't happening is as you can see on this store here as the lock was working and designed, but if it doesn't get into the strike plate, it may be locked but it's not secure. you can just open it. so it can be either in the locked position, ironically, or the unlocked position and it's still unsecured and can be opened. >> okay. so there was never the request to have the lock fixed? >> there was evidence that requests were made about the lock based on the interview with the teacher and also some reports that we found of submissions to have it fixed. >> so the teacher thought the lock was broken.
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>> the teacher was convinced it was unlocked and broken and reported it earlier. >> and was the request made days before the shooting more weeks or months? >> i can't say. i would have to go back and get the exact timeline. i don't have that right now but i will get that back to the committee exact days it was requested that it would be fixed. >> on the officers radio, i heard he went in without his radio, then was requesting his radio, but i was told later or maybe by you or someone else that the radio would not actually function inside the school, that it didn't have the strength to reach out of the school. >> yes, sir. we conducted an assessment of the site while we had control of the school. and our special agents brought in the communications team and we conducted tests of everybody's portable radio. uvalde police department, sheriff's office, board control,
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everybody's portable radio and that west building. the end of the only reportable radios that worked in the west building were border patrols. they were the only ones that worked. so, we've got a police school officer whose radio will not work inside the school. >> that's correct. yes sir. so they are responding to assist, and norwood of the officers if they are responding to assist. but they have a station there in uvalde and that's why they have so many agents in the area and of course they have a stronger boost on their particular tower. i can tell you even when we take board petroleum we are able to link them and patch them together, even their radios didn't work. >> okay. i have senators waiting to raise
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their hand first. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> you talked about different stages of the tragedy starting with the shooter's social media messages, his communications with people, including the young woman, the young lady in germany. you talked about communications, you talked about the communication among the officers, the radio communications and others. looking back specifically at all of those areas of the tragedy that you have addressed, what is it that we must change going forward, what lessons have we learned that we could implement going forward? >> one thing, senator, is recognize the investigation is far better that we enlisted the expertise of active shooter situations and as a nationally y recognized experts at the
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advanced law enforcement rapid response training at texas state university and we asked them early on while we had control of the scene to let them do an assessment. the tactics were deployed and made recommendations in terms of other options at that point based upon the facts of this particular scenario and options going forward. moreover, we also request the safety center create an audit assessment of the school safety compliance with rules and regulations and requirements laid out by the texas legislature and i mentioned earlier we conducted all of the assessments in the aftermath of that brutal attack and also at a texas tech university at the request of the chancellor so we
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did the same thing and came away with recommendations from that and made it available to the commissioner. the team met with him last weekend went over the assessment. he is always looking for ways to improve and i can discuss some of them if you would like. the campus parameter is inadequate as has been mentioned a 4-foot fence, tubing with gaps in it. there is a lack of controlled access points and as you know we use these badges and if the teacher leaves or a student
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leaves you can deny them access to come back in and control access and see when people enter so that is an advantage. plus it is a locking mechanism that's more securely and we've seen especially if the defects would be detected easily and earlier. a lack of card key access that we mentioned, lack of controlled access points and the access points were not controlled and do not guide visitors to one location. this didn't make a difference in this situation but it is a concern that is brought up. the exterior doors didn't have strike plates installed to protect the latch. there were no deadbolts installed to strengthen and other debris were removed. exterior door glass panes which i show it before. this is a no-brainer if someone
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can go through that at some point very easily and within arms reach if you take out the window you are able to reach your hand in and do it. ironically any classrooms had the web inside of this interior pain that you see and the doors did not so it was tough. you could still take them out and put your hand in and opened the door. it doesn't mean you can't get it out. but he didn't need to in this particular case. the classroom doors are vulnerable to all being accessible from the hallways once in the building. this was further enhanced through the fact that access isn't controlled and classroom doors are vulnerable to attack in some locations classrooms outside doors there's as many as 40 doors across eight buildings on the campus. some of those are like mobile units that they opened directly out and there's access to those
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from the outside so if you get inside immediately, you can access looking at a mobile unit and we can drive around campus is all over the state and see these because they expand so now you have an accessible work and if you haven't controlled the access around the campus that would allow anybody to go to that particular door. the adjoining classroom door. i didn't mention specifically but there was an adjoining door. that's how he was able to get to so easily between 111 and 112. it could have facilitated action by law enforcement. so between 111 and 112 the door was we believe unlocked because it was always kept unlocked because teachers would watch their students were someone else's if they were out of the room at that point in time so it's even if not, it's easy to breach that particular doorway when there's two doors
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adjoining. a lock box, you heard a lot about keys. it's a secure safe where the master key is kept for first responders. if we had it we could have three master keys but they are in one place. the directive system, there was no system throughout the campus and linked to the alert system with redundancy features which is recommended. it could alert the entire campus with multiple notification platforms so they have a system that they sent messages out with teachers and everyone along those lines but it's not the same as a distress system. emergency evacuation diagrams. bags are left in rooms and in that red bag one of the things you have is a diagram of the campus and the advantage is you can look so if you are a first responder you have that immediately. this is what it looks like right here right now. you don't need blueprints.
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the challenge was some of the diagrams were off. some were correct but some were wrong. one was used to look at a sniper location. if you look at it it looks like the library covers the windows and it would eliminate a sniper position so that is an example of why it's important to have the diagrams correctly. emergency response communication goes back to the radio communication. we saw that after 9/11 when we had officers and firefighters that were killed because they couldn't get the communications because of the concrete and the walls and if there was a way to expand or enhance the communications by taking the signal and increasing it with antennas on campus in that regard. that would be some of the things. and again the expert will be the school safety center.
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that's what we saw immediately based upon this campus and this particular event that we identified and discussed with the commissioner. >> do you know there's areas where there's -- we all know there are areas where there is inadequate service for telephones, radio, specifically cell phones. >> yes ma'am. what can we do to ensure that at all of the schools we do have enough power to ensure there is effective communication among people who have cell phones and radios? >> the backbone was sufficient in uvalde patel the chief communicated with the dispatcher and how chloe called 911 and the teacher called. so cell phones work it's just the portable radios the first responders didn't. either a new radio system because their system really is
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not designed for the requirements in terms of school safety or this situation were others, to replace it or going back to what i talked about before there's a way that you can come a technological solution to expand the signal within the school that can be done. >> but for example that relates directly to uvalde and what i'm trying to do is see what we can learn from this tragedy so we address the problem statewide. >> every school should be evaluated for that. and i know there will be other people that will testify including some great professionals, sitting chiefs and what they are doing in that regard if you are going to do active shooter training it's best we do it together. it's best to do it at a school location where there's no kids and best to check the whole
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system not just in terms of how you respond together as a team but communicate as well and there's no reason we can't test all those radios to make sure everybody's radios operate inside a school and for that matter large public buildings. >> when you were in the school right on the border you might look at your cell phone and sent a message that says welcome to mexico and service in mexico takes over and is more dominant than the service on the american side. >> we have operability in some places where there's multicellular backbone or infrastructure. >> would you agree that something we need to look at and make recommendations about? >> absolutely. >> the shooters in uvalde did have specific social media about what he intended to do. what responsibility do we have to monitor social media and
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intercede when something is evident or threatened? >> one concern is through messaging and not posting so sometimes this is with chat, snapchat, instagram or gaming platforms where multiple people were talking in that regard. what is concerning as no one brought up to the attention even some people were getting messages and were concerned and sometimes blocked the subject from communication so it would have been better if they would have alerted somebody we could have blocked the particular subject at that point so that requires the public to be able to proactively report that and that said in the end, there's so much data. i can't even describe how much data there is. you know very well. so the only ones that are able to have the expertise and resources of there's algorithms developed to identify threats or
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that are key words and of course that gets into the privacy that is provided to law enforcement as a threat at that point in time so that's where you're going to have the debate of privacy over the saving of lives and there's a very smart people in the social media environment and business and high-tech that there's no doubt in my mind they can develop algorithms to find out what you buy or want to buy and at the moment they can certainly identify algorithms and develop things that will parent down that entirely suspicious wordings and groups of wordings like school shooter, for example, a clue that those things are somehow at least to the attention with law enforcement to have the chance to at least get a subpoena to try to get some of that information. >> many years ago only certain individuals with specific relationships with a child that is abused as required by law to report that child abuse.
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his legislature passed a bill requiring anyone who knew about child abuse to report it. do you believe we should consider a law like that requiring anybody that knows about threats like this to report it? >> obviously policies are well above my pay grade and so what i can say, that certainly would help because people, if we can't, at least to the extent we can educate people, and what is concerning is some of the things our group things. it's almost like they are talking to each other, that they support each other. this is cool or neat. a part of it is this deviant subculture, whatever you want to call it in that regard. but it always gets somebody's attention and they stop or they get out of that messaging. all it takes is one report and it might give us the opportunity. and obviously that didn't happen in this case and every time you go back and look at these tragic
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situations, you see opportunities that we had to be able to stop that pathway towards the violence. >> thank you. there are investigations underway. we have heard so much about what happened and when it happened and by whom certain actions were taken or not. what hope is there that the families that were so negatively impacted or horrifically impacted will one day get the truth about exactly what happened? >> i can tell you this if there is not a major investigation in my entire career with the department, with the fbi, that initially we will know. but yet there is a crushing demand for information so you provide information and preliminary, hasn't been cooperated. but nonetheless, your reporting information. information ends up being misinformation at a later were two days later. the advantages the position we are in right now and it's why we
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are very careful today not going by witness statements but what we are doing is going by physical evidence that we've collected, that we've reviewed frame by frame that has been enhanced and we've looked at. everything i've testified today is the fact, so the family can rest assured that information is correct, plain and simple. if we change the number for example i think they said 400 to 20 rounds of ammunition in the truck or 900 from the backpack or at the end of the date of the suspect could have had over 186 rounds on him. if the number changes to 185 or something like that, the public would understand or 899, it was rounded off. but everything i've testified today is cooperated just by the areas in your book will show you exactly where that information came from on the timeline. >> thank you. in 2019 this legislature passed a bill requiring public school
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districts to include an active shooter emergency response plan in the operations plan and active shooter trainings for the school district peace officers. in 2021 we passed another bill requiring school board members to take a course on school safety. so both of these bills were passed and should be in effect. i'm sure you are familiar with those two laws and more. are those that we have passed working or which do we have to go specifically to look at again and improve them? for example, those regarding acr trainings. >> obviously not enough training is done in this situation. plain and simple because of the terrible decisions that were made by the office commander that should have never happened, plain and simple. now the state of texas already has leaders at the forefront of the legislature and its leadership and when it comes to school safety and active shooter, you've got the nationally recognized center of excellence for the active
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shooter training at the texas state university funded by the state and governor as well and works in partnership with the fbi school safety center. when implemented from the idea so we can look at all the things they have planned, look at the vulnerabilities and say it's a checklist of things to do with schools in that regard. at the end of the day, what can we do to prevent on the front end we talk about the attack. that is where the success looks like. i can't tell you, and they won't like me saying it and i might get some accounts banned but at the end of the day for not being more proactive i understand they
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have a business modeling and privacy is important. people think there isn't privacy i get this but i certainly believe i have great confidence in the resources and capabilities and acumen to be able to identify solutions that can help identify the potential threats and have judicial controls in place and make sure it's not big brother and give opportunity at least to identify suspicious activity and act upon it. >> what recommendation would you make to the committee to include in the report from the perspective of the head of the department of public safety if we were to ask you to name one recommendation, what would that recommendation be? >> we need to train more and i will say this from the dps standpoint, one thing i want to
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make sure is we are never in a position that we show up because more often than not we show up as a supporting role and most of our resources are a pass, webb county for example, in your area. so, we've got as quickly as we could get there we got there, but to make sure that when we show up it doesn't matter, in santa fe we have two troopers with a chief, one taking a shot at the shooter. we want them to have the equipment they need, and one thing, one reoccurring thing that is disappointing over and over that we have to have shields, no, you don't but why not have one. so we want to put a bag in every patrol car in the state and a ballistic shield, not a swot version, not full body but enough to cover the face in that regard, and breaching tools and train them on the breaching tools, so everyone right now to be on the swat team at a special
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response teams. that is where the expert is because it is usually used for search organs and stuff. i want every trooper to know how to breaching have the tools to do it when they show up so we are not just a supporting in terms of having an officer on the scene, but also bringing equipment that may or may not be needed. but at least we have it. >> thank you, sir, and thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director, at the beginning of your remarks, you were very defined in the characteristics of the shooter. you went through his age and different things. i have a couple of questions on that. you mentioned animal cruelty. that's been talked about a lot. was there -- did he commit animal cruelty, and was that,
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was anyone aware of that? >> looking at the digraphs and based on interviews and not physical evidence in the reports that he was involved in cruelty, animal cruelty particularly cats, walked around with a plastic bag of dead cats and there was other information, none that was brought to the law enforcement attention. it's a crime itself, but another key. i didn't include it in the timeline in terms of the suspicious because it's not witnesses telling us this after-the-fact, but clearly we believed i will say this i believed as of right now that he did engage in animal cruelty, and of course it is a part of the pathway to the individuals involved in suicidal, fatalistic and animal cruelty, something to look forward to. >> you do not mention a toxicology report. do we have a toxicology report?
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>> autopsies have not, we don't have the final report yet. all in all the individuals involved, and the district attorney is also recognizing that it's appropriate to have additional expertise. she's enlisted the support of the well-regarded medical -- >> sono toxicology report? >> that's correct. >> end of the characteristics, was he a gamer -- >> he played for tonight with friends and other locations he found online. >> shooting games? >> i can't tell you exactly what games he played. >> and truancy. i have seen different reports on how long he had been truant. are you aware of how long? >> i know he hadn't completed a lot of the curriculum. it's been reported back as far back as a sophomore when he left
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what would normally be a junior year. but i'll believe they can do a better job of answering the question of truancy. i can say that we have yet to find anything in his files of disciplinary files, anything that you would expect to find with somebody with this kind of background we just haven't found it. >> and then to your timeline, you talked about the door and mr. chairman, you asked some questions. i want to clarify and make sure that i heard of this correctly, the classroom door that he entered, did i hear you correctly say that the door was, the lock was broken -- >> the lock was not broken. the strike plate was dysfunctional and the only way you can get it to lock from the outside is in the locked position and when brought one of
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the doors in the locked position and to pull on it to see the lock plate if you can do that then it would be locked or i would call it secure, it would be secure at the time. >> so, while there were a lot of time lapses in your timeline waiting on a key and there's a lot of the communication that you have transcribed, can we conclude there was never the need for the key because the lock wasn't working properly? >> i don't believe based on information that we have right now that it was ever secured. in fact i have great reason to believe that it wasn't secure. a subject doesn't just walk in and then shoot the classroom and walk out and walk back in again
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seamlessly. he didn't have a key. he couldn't walk it from the inside so the door was unsecured and we've gone back and checked in our interviews. but he touched the door and tried. you need a key, one of the things they teach an active training and i'm sure the experts can talk about it, how about trying the door to see if it is unlocked. what we used to call a clue at that point. why not. and of course no one had. so even if you are a part of the breaching team, you go back and talk and make them led to believe that it's locked, when you go back and talk and they didn't try the door, they took the key you can open it, whether it's locked or unlocked it would take it back to the door and you move it and you are let in so -- >> so out of lessons learned, what we would conclude from your testimony today would be that no one tried the door. there was a lot of time waiting
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for a key with which a dysfunctional door was never locked because the shooter was able to walk in as you say, go back and forth. >> yes, but moreover though, you didn't need a key. there's tools and through the program, and you will have experts testify sometime today we had them go in and see if they could reach, and you can talk to them about what they figured out and how long it took, but the point is you don't have to wait for a key and shouldn't have to ever wait for a key to breach and they will talk i'm sure about the windows, great access points. by the way, you're protected. >> and my last point of clarification on your timeline from 11:28 the suspect crashed his vehicle. we've heard lots of different reports about how long he was outside. obviously i heard how many shots
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did he fire outside before he entered at 11:33 which is six minutes and 35 seconds according -- >> three rounds at the funeral home. another 24 while outside of the west building to two different classrooms as he walked towards the door. >> and did those bullets enter the classroom? >> yes. they didn't harm any children? >> there were two other victims that were injured. the teacher was shot in the stomach and they were in classroom 109 but the rounds came from room 111 through. >> none of them from the outside but they did penetrate into the classroom. >> some children were injured
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but the only ones i've talked about were the two that i've already mentioned. >> the only time we found rounds were in room 111 at the time of the breach. >> i have a number of members that want to ask a question. let me just say i think everybody has the lights on and is requesting, so i'm going to start with my vice chair, so the sender will be next and we will take advice and you're ready all the way down then i have some of the nonmembers that would like to ask questions. >> thank you, mr. chair man and director i think i can get through my questions fairly quickly. within three minutes of the shooter entering the school, it
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says on the timeline here provided that nine officers entered the school within the five minute mark, within three minutes of the shooter entering the school they were in the school with rifles, is that correct? >> yes, sir. there's as many as 11 and the two of them had rifles. so the chief commander as it is stated said many times through the audio that they only had pistols. what is the discrepancy and what is the fact? >> two officers had rifles. there was never the need.
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thereafter there was anywhere from 11 and the numbers kept increasing. and the number of rifles kept increasing over time. >> so even though there was never the need for the rifles, the chief kept saying we only have pistols and we need rifles. why is that, but in law enforcement training would lead him to continue to say that over and over? as if that was a necessary factor to advance? >> it's going to be risky. they are likely to get hurt and somebody die. but it's less likely that they would then children without the armor the weapons were the training left alone with
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somebody that had been brutally killed. we don't know the timing of it but ultimately kills 21 people. >> so just to be clear within the three minutes, nine officers were in the hallway with pistols and rifles and at the five minute mark, the chief was heard saying he's contained in this office. is there an office on the floor plan that you provided as an exhibit? >> not that i'm aware of. it's as referenced in the rooms. it's not an administrative building. these were classrooms.
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.. >> that there was an attempt to open the door or test if it was locked? did you ever see anybody with her hand on the door up until the breach?
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and we had gone back and talk to the preachers and they said they tried the door handle before hand. >> and then there is a reference to a sledgehammer and those are separate. was there any reason with your experience of law enforcement that the door would not have been checked understanding there is gunfire with the available sledgehammer what is the reason why the door would not be checked and why with the chief keep referring to the fact when ended being 77 minutes of delay? >> one of the reasons we wanted to have the outside
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independent review is so they could answer those types of questions that it becomes my professional opinion but i would suggest the doctrine you don't wait for the swat team one officer is enough and then you have the obligation immediately which is really stopping the killing that is ostp preached and required and practiced in the state of texas. >> and the assumption in the school with the shooters determined to be in one of two classrooms the assumption being that children would be in the classrooms i find hard
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to believe why in any way would there be a reference to the shooter has barricaded an intruder in the office when it's not even on the floor plan quick. >> i don't know why i'm just telling you things do get confusing sometimes it's ambiguous with the doctrine but just in my experience to see how effective to be on the scene and then of course engaging the subjects because they work against you but they work for you and then to talk about the things you can do to protect the kids in the room
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and to isolate obviously simultaneously hitting the windows that is distracting the subject when you go win. none of that was considered at the end of the day we waited for rifles and radio and a swat team and a shield before the swat team. there was always a reason why we didn't go in. that is one error 14 minutes late and active shooter environment that is on tolerable. >> i want to make it clear that when you say we even very upfront with your efforts to participate and find the answers in this investigation
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from the abc news interview just one day or two after on this after the shooting that no way was involved with incident command or with making decisions on site you are just providing testimony today and the investigation. is that correct? >> with those substantial resources immediately we even had a swat team they did not make it in time so we will always fly resources into the area by the nature of where we are then there were numerous officers sometimes more is not better.
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>> that there was the establish incident commander when officers arrived. >> yes sir. >> when i say we i mean law enforcement community. is something important so take responsibility and i appeared to be hypercritical of the on-site commander i don't mean to be but facts are facts mistakes are happened. we cannot allow that to happen it set our profession back a decade. >> i appreciate your explanation and the rhetoric that you use is very much appreciated. at the 19 minute mark the first ballistic shield was brought into the school. can you describe not only how
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the ballistic shield is used for what type of gunfire can take at what proximity and one shield with an unlocked door was that enough to neutralize the shooter at the 19 minute mark? >> with an active shooter you don't have time for a shield. >> at the 19 minute mark actually four shields arrived some waited and some are not. at the end of the day you have got to get in there. >> the point that i'm trying to make is that you mentioned several times you don't need the shield there is no excuse for advancing on the active shooter. we agree with that but at the next interval when a shield was even present i am asking at what point how many
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gateways of excuses were there not to go in and save the kids that were still alive? the shield could've been enhanced on the shooter, it's difficult because the chief is not here today i'm trying to gain the perspective that i can understand the thought process of someone who made several decisions with the resources that he had not to advance into the classroom to take the shooter down and save the kids that were still alive are wounded. >> first of all i'd like to single out a person to say he is solely responsible, but at the end of the day if you are consuming on —- assuming that command. it is what it is. and by the way when the rifles were there, there were many
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the radios were there but they never worked anyway. when evidence of swat got there there was no reason to wait. there is always something that delayed we keep emphasizing those are many lifetimes and you cannot have that in that environment. >> what does an officer make that decision not to follow the commander? >> quite frankly it is dangerous to self the ploy. we have to be careful what you know when what you don't know. >> all the officers reported he's talking to the subject
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now he's in the office of the subject so they are operating under false assumptions it's been described as a vortex the swat team in san antonio deployed we sent to swat teams because it's a barricaded subject. >> but those that were questioning picking up on the audio whether or not the decisions made were correct and questioning whether or not there were kids in the classroom other than just reporting what the chief was saying what decision was made from the incident commanders? >> that's a great question.
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but it has been my experience first of all to have consequences in this regard but it's always dangerous for example and then has been told information in my expectation and then to have disastrous results. and me not be as smart as the on scene commander. >> and doing what we can to support the commander on the ground that is our policy it is our doctrine and it is a
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takeover by the state. >> i appreciate your answers it's important for the committee and for those how those decisions are made are not made in a crisis situation where commander is established in those that are following their the. there is no shame at all with the six man department or the sheriffs office. >> with the lack of interoperability was there any conceivable scenario the text messages and that 77 minutes of delay coming from the children inside the classroom
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is any conceivable situation those outside the school building would get that information from dispatch and simply career or deliver that information into the school building were officers were located? from that trader protocol back to active shooter protocol how is it possible that did not happen. >> first of all the radio traffic is chaotic officers were talking over each other and stepping over each other. we don't know who he told that to if that was ever communicated.
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>> so in a chaotic situation like that there's no way to channel dispatch and information directly coming straight into command central? >> not in this case that even cell phones work you just have to depend upon one means there are other options. >> is there any protocol for breach of the exterior classroom or the active shooter is in a classroom like we discussed quick. >> certainly one can argue it safer to do so with the exterior wall bricks and
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mortar versus sheetrock. >> is there any evidence to show on the exterior of the building? are those students that were located in the classroom. >> officers rescued hundreds of children. keep in mind the children that were in danger they had to be extracted not to the hallway by breaking out the windows and extracting the kids. >> just a few years ago from santa fe to remove the school marshall programs there was a cap on the number of marshals that could be implemented by school districts and that was removed at that time there are
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62 districts to use a program like that guardian or school voucher do you have any objection to establish a program like that on school campuses knowing there is eligibility established and training established in cooperation between the local emergency operation plan for an active shooter situation. >> i have testified before and then to be everywhere at once and those children that need to be productive so seconds matter at the end of the day one police officer was a
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civilian. he went got his rifle and took the subject out you can't ignore that particular option with the shooter being confronted early and often. >> we are both advancing those that those past based on protocols for the safety of the locker being used both of those past in the session and the testimony against that legislation was by organizations representing to say they did not feel safe with that type of collaboration that is responsible in an active shooter situation.
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much of the opposition in committee and testimony were from those organizations that did not want to have those programs on their campus but my information is out of those districts that expanded guardian or school marshall programs we do not have an active shooter situation on those campuses as the information that i have. >> i cannot say it is causal that i would expect and hope somebody came on campus they would do something before law enforcement got there. it was 20 minutes after how many rounds did he fire? one hundred rounds ideally to
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be confronted in the hallway that intersection doesn't look like in that regard. and then to talk about it and then the officers are overstaffed at the subject wants to kill police officers he just stepped into the hallway. and they are in an expert position to discuss this and make recommendations on the. >> i appreciate your testimony today and the willingness to continue to find the answers we can make the decisions we need to make to keep these
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kids safe and i just want to wrap up with this and within three minutes of the shooter entering the building nine officers were in school with pistols and rifles and the classroom doors to classroom 111 and 112 were unlocked. within five minutes of the shooter entering the building the chief is saying he doesn't have the necessary resources to advance on the shooter so i would ask this last question again, how many minutes from the shooter entering the building did the officers eventually decide to advance and neutralize the shooter? how many minutes went by? >> 14 minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> we had the director testify
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one hour, 50 minutes straight we will do a five-minute break for everybody. [inaudible conversations]
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