Glock Talk banner

An SRO engaged the school shooter in TX

12926 475
There was an SRO in the elementary school in the school shooting in TX. He was shot by the gunman defending the school.
Imagine how many more would be dead if a good guy with a gun wasn’t there.

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
@warbow150 (Since the @#$% reply/ quote widget won't work as is now usual!)

If a gunman is barricaded in a room with multiple persons who are not his willing co- conspirators, those people are, by default, his hostages.

My interpretation is that's what happened here. The suspect's intent was to be an "active shooter" and go throughout the school, killing as many people as he could. However, due to the intervention of the SRO, his plan, such as it was, failed and he ended up as a barricaded hostage taker with significantly less ammo than he originally brought.

The scenario started off as an "active shooter," but within minutes, possibly within seconds, and before any additional law enforcement arrived to assist the lone SRO, it became a "barricade/ hostage situation."

I've been retired for almost three years now and it's been at least 5 years since the last time I did active shooter, but the response shifts gears from "seek and destroy" to " negotiate/ bring in the entry team" once the shooter is confined to a specific, enclosed area and no longer actively shooting people. At least that's how we did it.
 

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
"Ramos barricaded himself inside a fourth-grade classroom — “and that’s where the carnage began,” McCraw continued.
The cold-blooded killer sprayed a hail of bullets into the room, cutting down 19 kids and two teachers and sending some students jumping out windows in a bid to save their lives."

I'm basing most of my theory that Ramos was barricaded in the classroom and that's where most of the killing occurred on this statement from the TX DPS spokesman, FWIW.

But, as others have said, there are still a lot of competing narratives out there. I imagine there will probably be a thorough after- action review like they did in Broward County after this one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GPalmer

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
@OLY-M4gery

Not if you're no longer actively shooting. Then you're a hostage taker. At least that's how we looked at it. Continued dynamic response by the lesser trained first- responding patrol teams was judged more likely to result in additional civilian casualties than slowing down, containing the subject, and going the negotiator/ SWAT route to end the scenario.

As for what to do when the active shooter who became a non- shooting hostage taker starts shooting hostages, well, everything just really starts to suck, don't it?

I think you have to consider the hostages in the room with barricaded subject as "already dead" as long as there are other innocent subjects still in danger, in adjacent rooms, for example. Interior drywall ain't stopping bullets. So, until the 3rd graders and the 5th graders in the rooms on either side of the 4th graders are secured, you don't move on the 4th grade classroom. And when you do, you're moving on your timetable with the best team and the best equipment. Sucks, but that's my take on it.

At the end of the day all of these things are an exercise in picking your poison, choosing the lesser of many evils, and trying to engineer the least horrible of many potentially horrible outcomes.
 

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
Yeah, I'm out too. There is a crazy amount of contradictory information about this situation. Even more than usual.
 

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
Somebody or some set of circumstances intervened very early on to get Ramos to barricade himself in that one classroom instead of roaming the building, killing people at random all through the school.

I know I said I was out, but a theory:

1. School admin initiated the lockdown internally in response to reports of Grandmother's shooting/ vehicle crash/ shots fired at nearby funeral home.

2. Most teachers complied and had locked their doors. 4th grade teacher failed, for whatever reason, to lock hers.

3. Backdoor was left unlocked, possibly due to parents coming and going from an awards ceremony earlier that morning. Ramos entered unchallenged.

4. Some combination of officers arrived just as Ramos was entering the school. Ramos tries to enter classrooms to escape them. There's a gun fight in the hall before Ramos enters the 4th grade classroom with the unlocked door.

5. At that point most of the massacre occurs. Ramos then barricades himself and the transformation from "active shooter" to "hostage taker" is complete.

6. The failure to secure the backdoor was the first critical failure. That's on the school personnel if there wasn't an SRO on property at the moment the attack started. If that door was locked, Ramos would have still been outside when officers arrived and more easily killed or captured with less danger to students.

7. The failure to lock the classroom door was the second critical failure. That's on the teacher. If that door was locked, Ramos would have been trapped in the halls and more easily killed or captured by responding officers following commonly accepted active shooter response.
 

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
I really, really hate to recommend the New York Times, but they're updating a lot of information. Subscription required to read most of it, unfortunately. I'll copy and quote as much as the mods will let me get away with, because screw the NY Times.

One of the more hysterical complaints I've seen was that some of the cops went in and evacuated their own kids, but wouldn't let all the grief- crazed parents into get their kids. Turns out that's true, but it's not that nefarious or shocking. From the Times:

Jacob Albarado had just sat down for a haircut when he got a text message from his wife Trisha, a fourth-grade teacher at Robb Elementary.
“There’s an active shooter,” she said in the message. “Help,” and then: “I love you.”
Mr. Albarado, an off-duty Border Patrol officer, ran out of the barbershop and sped to the school.
His wife and the children she taught were hiding under desks and behind curtains. Their daughter, a second grader at Robb, was locked in a bathroom, she said.
Once he got to the school, he learned that a tactical team was already forming to enter the wing where the shooter was holed up. So Mr. Albarado quickly made a plan with other officers at the scene: evacuate as many children as possible.
Armed with a shotgun that his barber had lent him, Mr. Albarado said he led his colleagues toward the wing of the school that housed his daughter’s classroom.
“I’m looking for my daughter, but I also know
what wing she’s in,” he said, “so I start clearing all the classes in her wing.”
Two officers provided cover, guns drawn, he said, and two others guided the children out on the sidewalk. They brought out dozens of kids and their teachers, he said, many of whom emerged screaming.
“They were just all hysterical, of course,” he said.
When he finally saw his 8-year-old daughter Jayda, he said he hugged her, but then kept moving the other children along.
“I did what I was trained to do,” Mr. Albarado said.


So, yes, this guy went and got his wife and kids. But he got everyone else's kids who were in that wing as well. And he was evacuating the other wing away from where the shooter was barricaded. That's tactically sound. It's not like he was rushing the part of the school where the shooter was, grabbing just his kids, and running back out.

Anyway, here's the link to the rest of the NY Times stories and updates.

 

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
I dunno. The County School system where I worked has it's own police force. For most of my career they deployed four of the officers at each of the high schools. Then there was an officer or two assigned to float between the middle schools in each district. The elementary schools didn't have a permanently assigned officer.

After Broward County shooting, they passed a tax measure to fund having an officer in every school including all the elementary schools. They're poaching officers like crazy who are eligible to retire from my old PD to make it happen.

I don't think it's unusual to not have a full- time SRO at an elementary school.
 

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
Looks like Chief Arredondo is going under the bus on this one. I get why he made the tactical decision that he did and I also get why, particularly with the benefit of hindsight, it was the wrong decision to make.
 

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
The second person under the bus needs to be the teacher who propped the back door open. According to the press conference, a teacher is on video propping the rear door open a few minutes before Ramos arrived. I'm not overly prone to conspiracy theories, but I'm sure that they're going nuts on 4chan and such places.

All law enforcement failures aside, that act, which is totally on school staff and not the cops, is the most critical point of failure in this whole sorry incident. Security features don't work if the people they're supposed to protect don't use them.
 

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
@merlynusn

Yeah, that 911 call at 1216 hrs should have kicked something loose in Arredondo's noggin that he needed to shift tactics. Especially since there are reports that the Border Patrol teams were arriving by then.


The agents from Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrived at some point between 12 p.m. and 12:10 p.m., according to the officials — far earlier than previously known. But they did not breach the adjoining classrooms of the school where the gunman had locked himself in until a little before 1 p.m. Members of the federal tactical team killed the gunman.

The officials said that members of the Uvalde Police Department kept the federal agents from going in sooner.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1cm and merlynusn

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
Looks like the BP guys decided to ignore Chief Arredondo and went in on their own.


Good for them, but what an absolute clusterfark.
 

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
The choice of having the chief of the 6 man school police department as your incident commander is an odd one. He's in charge of the smallest agency with the fewest resources. Other than he and his officers being more familiar with the specific layout of the school, they don't bring much to the table.

Ideally all of the local agencies would have gotten together beforehand and hammered all of this out with mutual aid agreements and MOUs. I suspect that they hadn't formally done that and incident command fell to Arredondo by default since it was his turf. He was clearly not the best choice.

I can't fault him for switching gears from active shooter to barricaded subject after the initial gunfire stopped. As was pointed out earlier, if the timeline is correct, there was a 37 minute gap without gunshots. So, okay, Ramos is a barricade and not an active shooter now. Got it.

But once BORTAC arrived Arredondo clearly should have deployed them to the hall to prepare for an assault if Ramos started shooting again. It is absolutely inexplicable to me why he didn't have them ready to go ASAP, even if there was some thought that they were going to try negotiations or something.

Typical admin weenie vaporlock is the only way I can figure it. Good thing that BORTAC decided to take matters into their own hands, but we're only able to say that because it worked out and only Ramos was killed in their assault. If one of the BORTAC guys had thrown a round that killed a hostage, the same people screeching about "How could the police just stand there while babies were dying?!" would be screeching twice as loudly about "Rogue Federal goons going in to play cowboy without authorization killing innocent Latinx babies!!" They'd be demanding that the BORTAC team be charged with Manslaughter for acting without lawful orders.

Arredondo's ineptitude exposed those guys to a lot of unnecessary liability. I'm glad they were willing to pick it up.
 

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
@SAR

The school would be within the borders of the town or at least the county, so the larger agencies should have concurrent jurisdiction if they choose to exercise it. At least that's how it works around here.

For purposes of critical incident command the decision between all of those agencies as to who was going to be in charge should have been worked out beforehand. I'm guessing that they weren't, which is how Arredondo ended up in charge by default.
 

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
@1cm

Which brings up another issue to consider as to why it's probably not a good idea to have the chief of the smaller agency designated as the incident commander for a multi- agency response. The Uvale PD SWAT guys weren't Arredondo's guys. Who knows what kind of local- yokel BS there was behind the scenes, but let's just imagine that ego or personal slights gave Arredondo some reason to not want to trust the UPD SWAT's capabilities when the chips were down. He wants to wait for the Texas Rangers or BORTAC because he thinks they'll be higher speed/ lower drag. An incident commander who was from UPD might have made a different decision with the resources he had because most of them were "his" people and he trusted them.
 

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
One thing I'm realizing is that different ones of us (and the different schools of hostage response) are prioritizing different classes of hostages.

1cm and the NTOA guy are prioritizing the idea that there are critically injured hostages who might survive if a more aggressive tactical approach towards a barricaded subject is taken earlier.

The other approach maximizes the uninjured (or mildly injured) hostages who will see their chances for survival increased (statistically speaking) if a more deliberative approach is used.

Each school of thought has merits.
 

·
Pretty Ladies!
Joined
·
5,003 Posts
@packsaddle
This is Coptalk. We're trying to have a serious discussion. The Furball Forum is available for nonsense.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top