The Uvalde, Texas, school district made detailed security preparations and simulated an active shooter situation with law enforcement officers before a deadly elementary school mass shooting Tuesday, according to a report.
Five different agencies took part in a simulation in August 2020 to practice how they would stop a deadly gunman, and the city’s SWAT team was sent to learn the layouts of school buildings in the district in the case of such a threat, the New York Times reported Thursday.
The training exercise in 2020 included local officers assigned to the school district, Uvalde police, the county sheriff’s office, and other local law enforcement agencies.
The City of Uvalde also received a grant of nearly $70,000 from the state in a bid to beef up security at schools after a shooting at a high school in Santa Fe left 10 people dead in 2018. Some of the preventive security measures the school district says it implemented include motion detectors, perimeter fencing, a buzz-in door system, and more, according to a two-page document obtained by CNN.
The disclosures were made as outrage mounts over the question of what took law enforcement so long to stop the gunman, who was in the school for up to an hour and killed 21 people, including 19 children and two teachers, in one classroom. More than a dozen others were injured.
Officials say the shooter, identified as 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, entered the school through an apparently unlocked door. Witnesses at the scene have criticized law enforcement, who they said waited nearly an hour to breach the school as backup arrived. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.