GunsIssuesLocal NewsOne Year Ago, Gunman Murdered 21 at Robb Elementary School Before Being Killed by Border Agents

The widely-condemned response by law enforcement officials at the scene of the shooting is now the subject of a federal investigation.
May 24, 2023
Today marks one year since 19 students and two teachers were murdered in their classrooms at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, an 18-year-old gunman barged into the school and committed the massacre with a DDM4 rifle, an AR-15 style semiautomatic weapon manufactured by Daniel Defense.

After a delay of 77 minutes, a tactical team of border agents stormed the classroom where the teenage gunman had barricaded himself and killed him.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) formed an investigative committee to inquire into the shooting and the conduct of law enforcement on that fatal day. The committee found “egregiously poor decision making” by the hundreds of responding officers, which included local, federal, and state personnel.

The committee members were Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso), and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman.

Col. Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), said the response to the shooting constituted a deviation from the accepted protocol for handling mass shootings. He called it an “abject failure.”

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Led by Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), Democrats have called for additional gun control measures, including a law to raise the minimum age to 21 to purchase a semiautomatic rifle. They unsuccessfully urged Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session of the Legislature to debate their proposals.

Gutierrez testified before the U.S. Congress and asked for federal gun control legislation.

The board of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District fired Pete Arredondo, the district’s police chief, after he faced scrutiny for botching the response to the shooting. He was the incident commander at the scene of the massacre.

The investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into the response by law enforcement is ongoing.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."