State lawmakers who investigated the horrific mass shooting noted in their findings a major problem plaguing Texas border towns as law enforcement increasingly spot vehicles suspected of human smuggling — and said the situation contributed to “relaxed vigilance” at the school during the May attack.
The report explained that when authorities try to pull a suspicious vehicle over, the driver often refuses to stop and speeds away, a dangerous occurrence that frequently ends in a crash and the operator and his passengers abandoning, or “bailing out,” of the car.
Such “bailouts” in Uvalde routinely trigger security alerts for local schools including Robb Elementary. But since the alerts usually don’t amount to danger for the school, they end up being treated a little like the boy who cried wolf, the pols’ report said.
One of the factors “contributing to relaxed vigilance [at Robb Elementary] was the frequency of security alerts and campus lockdowns resulting from a recent rise of ‘bailouts,’” the report said.
“The frequency of these ‘bailout’-related alarms — around 50 of them between February and May of 2022 — contributed to a diminished sense of vigilance about responding to security alerts,” the probe’s findings said.
In the minutes before the Uvalde school massacre, 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos stole his grandmother’s truck after shooting her in the face.
Ramos, who did not have a driver’s license, wrecked the truck near Robb Elementary, got out of the car and began shooting at his alma mater before easily strolling into the building and killing his innocent victims.
The belief by some authorities that Ramos’s crash was simply another bailout may have slowed the police response, the report said.
In an eerie twist, two months before the massacre, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin talked to The Post about the “bail-out’’ scourge plaguing his and other border towns.
“Forty-eight times last year we had to lock down the public schools because of bailouts in our community — 48 times, but you don’t hear that on the news,” McLaughlin said.
Local, state and federal law enforcement also have come under heavy fire for failing for more than an hour to storm the classroom that turned into Ramos’s killing field.
Nearly 400 alleged do-nothing officers had assembled at the scene during the rampage while the clock ticked — and bloodshed reigned inside.
“At Robb Elementary, law enforcement responders failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving innocent lives over their own safety,” the report said.
“The void of leadership could have contributed to the loss of life as injured victims waited over an hour for help, and the attacker continued to sporadically fire his weapon.’’
In response to the findings, the school district told The Post it will add security measures before the start of the 2022-2023 school year, including new perimeter fencing, additional security cameras, upgraded doors and additional police officers.