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July 15, 2022

Uvalde Shooting Opinion Revisited: Don’t Wait

In the wake of the Uvalde shooting inside Robb Elementary school, lessons MUST be learned. I have been advocating that we as officers should wait until we have all the facts (the Totality of the circumstances) before we comment on what happened there. Odds are, we’ll never have all the facts. The local agencies there seem to be in damage control mode more than anything else.

When that happens, a situation is created where people try and fill in the gaps themselves. This is human nature, and as cops, we excel in the field of attempting to piece together a puzzle. But unfortunately, only one facet of the incident now bears any attention: time. 

Active shooter incidents 69.8% of the time end in less than five minutes, and 36.5% of that percentage have the incidents ending in less than two minutes. The shooter began firing at the school at 1131. Police shot him down at around 1250. 

I cannot and will not speculate as to why that happened. However, I will say that no matter what happened, someone made a series of grave mistakes. I am unsure if it was a training scar, fear, or, honestly, what caused such an inexcusable amount of time to lapse for this particular shooting. The truth is I do not care WHY; I am only concerned with how to prevent that in the future. 

I currently work for a very rural law enforcement agency. In most situations, my nearest backup is 35 to 45 minutes. Sometimes, depending on the day of the week and time, it may very well be over an hour before someone can assist me. When it comes to active shooter training, we not only are trained to enter alone, we have almost no other option. 

The simple fact is when there is an active shooter, we as law enforcement have only one job. To enter and deal with the treat. If you are alone, you go alone. You do not wait. Uvalde cannot happen again. If you don’t think you can enter a building and put down someone that is actively shooting ANYONE, including CHILDREN, then quit being a cop. It’s that simple. There is no middle ground. There is no excuse. There is no “but what about….” 

So ask yourself right here and now, what would you do? I know there is a lot of false bravado and a lot of people thinking and saying, “Well, you never know how you will react to a situation like that until you are there.” There is some credence to that, but I will follow that up with “Fuck that Shit!” If you have any doubts, even for a second, hang it up. This is not the career for you. 

Go back to the Mall, Paul Blart. 

When the devil is on the other side of the door, you have a duty and obligation as a law enforcement officer to end the threat. Period. No one else is coming, so it is absolutely up to us.