There are reports emerging from Uvalde, Texas, that police did not go in to confront the shooter for over an hour. One video taken from the perimeter shows parents being actively held back by law enforcement. A Border Patrol agent apparently went in on his own initiative and killed the suspect. The incident apparently began when the school security guard/officer engaged the suspect unsuccessfully.
Information is fragmentary at this stage and emotions are high so this essay is predicated on a hypothesis that the officers did not go in right away. Whether or not this was case remains to be seen but circumstantial evidence is mounting.
To that point, after the Columbine school shooting where officers waited outside for SWAT, the response to an active shooter situation changed to flooding the location with officers as soon as they arrived. No more waiting. Anyone with a gun was to go in and confront the suspect. In a lot of cases even the mere arrival of officers in the parking lot is enough to get a lot of these losers to commit suicide.
Time will tell what actually happened inside the Uvalde school. We can hope that a reasoned tactical decision was made, even if it was not the optimal one. At least in that case someone would have been thinking and not reacting out of fear. We don’t want to learn that officers were afraid for their own safety. Yet holding the perimeter and not attempting an assault to kill or ensure the suspect is dead has major drawbacks.
Cops are too easily pinned down and default to “hold the perimeter” after an initial repulse. The attitude needs to be assault and keep assaulting until the suspect is confirmed dead. Then provide medical to those who need it. Time is of the essence and officers need to be willing to sacrifice their lives for children.
We’ll know more as time comes out, so I’ll keep my comments on the subject brief and limited. I hope that the facts aren’t what they seem to be.
Author Don Shift
Don Shift is a veteran of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office and avid fan of post-apocalyptic literature and film who has pushed a black and white for a mile or two. He is a student of disasters, history, and current events.