Uvalde, Texas school shooting: Abbott directs school districts to undergo active shooter training

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (ALERRT) at Texas State University to provide active shooter training to school districts across the state in the wake of the recent massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 children and two adults dead. 

“We sadly recognize we cannot do anything to bring back the precious lives that were taken; however, we must do everything in our power to prevent the same tragic ending from happening again,” Abbott wrote in the letter to ALERRT Executive Director Pete Blair. 

“I direct that you deploy your nationally recognized active shooter training to all Texas school districts, prioritizing school-based law enforcement. That training must begin before the next school year begins.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference about the mass shooting at Uvalde High School on May 27, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference about the mass shooting at Uvalde High School on May 27, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.  (Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Blair said the ALERRT Center will be focused on training school resource officers in the coming weeks and months. 

“That’s really the kind of change and they may provide some additional funding going forward, but it’s not that we’re trying to get them all done by the beginning of the year, that wouldn’t be possible,” Blair told Fox News Digital. 

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The ALERRT Center was founded at Texas State University in 2002 and has provided active shooter training to more than 130,000 law enforcement and fire officials, as well as 200,000 civilians around the country. 

Abbott also requested that the center “provide a debrief of the Uvalde school shooting and other relevant situations to school administrators, law enforcement personnel, and other decision makers” who are responsible for school safety. 

“This discussion will serve as a solemn reminder of the necessity for constant vigilance in every school hallway and classroom and the need for the active shooter training you provide,” Abbott wrote in the letter. 

The Department of Justice is also conducting its own independent review of the police response to the shooting at the request of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin. 

Abbott initially praised the law enforcement response to the shooting, but backtracked after new details came to light, including that there was no school resource officer on the scene and police waited more than an hour to breach the classroom where the shooter was located. 

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Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw also said a side door was propped open by a teacher shortly before the attack, but later clarified that the door was closed and unlocked, allowing the suspect to gain entry. 

There was also conflicting information about whether a school resource office was on campus, with authorities initially saying that an officer confronted the gunman, but later saying that the gunman “walked in unobstructed.”

Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde school police chief who McCraw said made the “wrong decision” not to immediately confront the gunman, had taken an active shooter training course at Texas State University’s Texas School Safety Center as recently as December. 

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department separately hosted an “active shooter scenario training” at Uvalde High School in March. 

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The governor has also directed school safety officials to conduct “in-person, unannounced, random intruder detection audits” at school districts across the state. 

The Uvalde massacre came amid a spate of other mass shootings throughout the United States, including an attack at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, that left 10 people dead.