Another officer with the school district’s police department sped through the school’s parking lot while the gunman was present, but did not see him.
Two unlocked doors, lack of effective command, position of officers inside and loss of speed after officers entered the building were other issues pointed out in the report.
The assessment, released Wednesday, was created using school video, third-party video, body cameras, radio recordings, oral testimony from officers and reports from investigators.
“As all investigative options have not been exhausted, the report should not yet be considered a definitive or final report,” it added.
Another part of the report, which has yet to be released, will address issues of who led the law enforcement response during the massacre; The first section addressed the law enforcement response to “ineffective (incidental) command deficiency.”
Report: Once inside, officers lost speed
The report says the first officers who entered the building after the gunman moved right into the active shooter.
But officers retreated after the gunman, who was inside classrooms adjacent to the massacre, began firing at the classroom doors, the report said.
“Simply, when the assailant started shooting at them, the officers would have fired accurate return fire at the assailant,” it said. To do that, officials may have used the window in the center of each classroom door, the report said.
“Holding the position or pushing forward to a better place for accurate retaliatory action would undoubtedly have been dangerous, and some officers might have been shot or killed,” the assessment added. “However, the officers could have focused on restraining the attacker and getting immediate medical attention to the injured.”
Instead, after officers retreated, it took more than an hour to “restore momentum” and get to the victims, the report said.
“Although we do not have concrete information at this stage, some of those who died during this event could have been saved if they had received prompt medical attention,” it added.
According to the assessment, another problem is the presence of groups of officers on both sides of the school corridor. If the suspect came out of the classroom, officers on both sides of the hallway could have opened fire, creating a “crossfire situation” where they could have shot each other, it said.
“Teams should have communicated quickly, and officers at one end of the hallway should have retreated and redeployed to another position,” the report said.
The report highlights that both doors were not locked
Two doors that should have been locked were flagged by the warning message: the outer building door through which the gunman entered the school and the classroom door he later used.
But the teacher didn’t check to see if the door was locked, so the shooter “was able to immediately gain access to the building,” the report said.
However, even though the door was locked, the report added, it had a large glass-encrusted steel frame — it was not ballistic glass and did not have a foil — that the gunman could have fired and used later. Open the door.
Once inside, the shooter was able to enter nearby classrooms, ALERRT experts noted. According to the investigating officer quoted in the assessment, the lock of one of the rooms was “reported to have been damaged several times”.
The suspect was not seen engaging the locking mechanism on the classroom door at any time, and “based on this, we believe the lock to room 111 was never engaged,” the report said.
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