It’s hard to read the report without wanting to hurt somebody. Read the following excerpt, and you’ll see what I mean.

DOJ Report Excerpt

The most significant failure was that responding officers should have immediately recognized the incident as an active shooter situation, using the resources and equipment that were sufficient to push forward immediately and continuously toward the threat until entry was made into classrooms 111/112 and the threat was eliminated. Since the tragic shooting at Columbine High School in 1999, a fundamental precept in active shooter response and the generally accepted practice is that the first priority must be to immediately neutralize the subject; everything else, including officer safety, is subordinate to that objective. Accordingly, when a subject has already shot numerous victims and is in a room with additional victims, efforts first must be dedicated to making entry into the room, stopping the subject, and rendering aid to victims. These efforts must be undertaken regardless of the equipment and personnel available to those first on the scene. Critical Incident Review: Active Shooter at Robb Elementary School | Executive Summary xvii This did not occur during the Robb Elementary shooting response, where there was a 77-minute gap between when officers first arrived on the scene and when they finally confronted and killed the subject. Several of the first officers on scene initially acted consistent with generally accepted practices to try to engage the subject, and they moved quickly toward classrooms 111/112 within minutes of arriving. But once they retreated after being met with gunfire, the law enforcement responders, including UCISD PD Chief Pete Arredondo—who we conclude was the de facto on-scene incident commander—began treating the incident as a barricaded subject scenario and not as an active shooter situation.

77 minutes and officers did nothing while over 500 school children and teachers were at the mercy of a madman.


Rather than take a flame thrower to the officers on scene and point to clear leadership failures I’m going to discuss solutions in the hopes that someone in a leadership position can learn from this and take action. Like my first SEAL platoon Chief Dan said, “If you’re going to bitch about something you better bring a solution to the problem.”

Like gum on a shoe this has stuck with me ever since.

Lessons Learned

1. Law enforcement agencies need standardization 

Let me point out that there is a massive lack of coordination and standardization in law enforcement agencies across the United States.