UVALDE, T.X. (AP) — Uvalde families awaited a new report Sunday that was expected to outline police failures in the May school shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead, after weeks of conflicting and inaccurate statements from authorities surrounding why law enforcement waited so long to confront the gunman.
The report by an investigative committee led by the Texas House of Representatives follows weeks of closed-door interviews with more than 40 people, including witnesses and law enforcement who were on the scene at Robb Elementary on May 24.
The findings in the report were expected to offer the most complete account to date of the bewildering inaction by fully armed police officers who massed in the hallway of the school but waited more than an hour before breaching a fourth-grade classroom.
The committee had scheduled a private meeting with Uvalde families to discuss their findings before releasing the report to the public.
Flowers that had been piled high in the city’s central square had been removed as of Sunday, leaving a few stuffed animal maps scattered around the fountains alongside photos of some of the children who were killed.
A nearly 80-minute hallway surveillance video published by the Austin American-Statesman this week publicly showed for the first time a hesitant and haphazard tactical response, which the head of Texas’ state police has condemned as a failure and some Uvalde residents have blasted as cowardly.
Calls for police accountability have grown in Uvalde since the shooting. So far, only one officer from the scene of the deadliest school shooting in Texas history is known to be on leave.
The report is the result of one of several investigations into the shooting, including another led by the Justice Department. A report earlier this month by tactical experts at Texas State University alleged that a Uvalde police officer had a chance to stop the gunman before he went inside the school armed with an AR-15.
But in an example of the conflicting statements and disputed accounts since the shooting, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin has said that never happened. That report had been done at the request of the Texas Department of Public Safety, which McLaughlin has increasingly criticized and accused of trying to minimize the role of its troopers during the massacre.
Steve McCraw, the head of Texas DPS, has called the police response an abject failure.