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Tag: school shooting

Off-Duty CBP Agent Who Rescued Students Defends Police Response to Massacre at Texas School

Border Patrol Agent Jacob Albarado, via Facebook

By Steve Neavling

The off-duty CBP agent who rescued students during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas defended the police response to the massacre.

Jacob Albarado told CBS News he believes officers did nothing wrong. 

“I can’t speak on their behalf on what they were doing and how they were assessing the situation because I wasn’t there,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to breach the door. I don’t know what was happening in their mind.”

He added, “I know my fellow officers and, to me, I believe they were doing everything in their power they could do.” 

The shooting claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers before law enforcement officers confronted the shooter and killed him. 

Police have faced widespread criticism over their failure to act promptly to stop the 18-year-old shooter, who had barricaded himself in a classroom full of children. 

More than an hour had passed before the shooter was killed.

The Justice Department is investigating the police response to the shooting.

Albarado was getting his hair cut when he received a frantic text message from his wife, who works at the school. He grabbed a shotgun from his barber and rushed to the school, slipped into a wing of the building and began rescuing students. 

DOJ to Investigate Police Response to Mass Shooting at Texas Elementary School

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department announced on Sunday that it would investigate law enforcement’s handling of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. 

“At the request of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, the U.S. Department of Justice will conduct a Critical Incident Review of the law enforcement response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24,” the DOJ said in a statement.

The shooting claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers before law enforcement officers confronted the shooter and killed him. 

Police have faced widespread criticism over their failure to act promptly to stop the 18-year-old shooter, who had barricaded himself in a classroom full of children. 

More than an hour had passed before the shooter was killed.

Heads of FBI, Homeland Security Issue Statements Following School Shooting in Texas

FBI Director Christopher Wray, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued statements Wednesday following the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. 

Here is Wray’s statement:

“Yesterday we got the news we all dread. Parents received calls that are too devastating to even fathom. And a community, really the whole nation, was shaken by another horrific mass shooting. This time—once again—at an elementary school full of young children just days away from finishing the school year.

“My heart goes out to the families of the victims and to the entire community in Uvalde. I know you’re experiencing unimaginable pain and trauma. The entire FBI family feels your heartbreak and stands with you. There will certainly be more we learn about this heinous attack in the days ahead, and I know the American people—and especially the people of Uvalde—are looking for answers.

“I want to acknowledge the heroism of all law enforcement who responded immediately to the scene. For our part, the FBI will continue to work around the clock with the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Uvalde Police Department; and our other state, local, and federal partners to assist in any way we can. We’re dedicating the full resources of the FBI San Antonio Field Office and a host of other FBI Divisions to helping the Texas DPS and Uvalde PD, which have the lead in the investigation.

“On top of that, we’ve deployed national resources, including investigative and analytical support, evidence response and laboratory personnel, victim services professionals to assist families of the victims, and crisis management and behavioral analysis units.

“We’re absolutely heartbroken about yesterday’s tragic events and committed to doing our part to support our partners in the investigation and the Uvalde community as we begin to try to move forward.”

Here is Mayorkas’ statement:

“No words can come close to comforting the families of those lost in Uvalde yesterday. We at the Department of Homeland Security are horrified by this callous act of violence. We grieve for the families and loved ones of the children and teachers lost, and with the people of the community of Uvalde. We are hopeful for the full and fast recovery of those who suffered injuries.

“We are grateful for the courageous members of our Border Patrol, many of whom are part of the Uvalde and surrounding communities, who immediately responded to the scene along with local and state law enforcement. Without hesitation, they put themselves between the shooter and students to end the bloodshed and administer medical aid. Without question, their heroism yesterday saved lives. A Border Patrol Agent was injured in the crossfire yesterday and we know the loss and trauma from this tragedy will continue to impact many other CBP families for a long time to come.

“The Department will continue coordinating with federal, state, and local partners and offering our full support to the Uvalde community. As we pray for the families and loved ones and recognize the bravery of frontline law enforcement personnel, we must redouble our collective efforts to make our communities safer.”

Border Patrol Agent Shot and Killed Gunman at Texas Elementary School

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol tactical unit and other agents responded to the elementary school shooting in Uvalde on Tuesday, and one of the agents shot and killed the suspect. 

“Risking their own lives, these Border Patrol Agents and other officers put themselves between the shooter and the children on the scene to draw the shooter’s attention away from potential victims and save live,” Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha (Catron) Espinosa tweeted. 

On- and off-duty agents came under fire from the suspect, who had barricaded himself in the school. The Border Patrol agent who fatally shot the gunman was wounded by gunfire, the Associated Press reports.

About 80 Border Patrol agents were among the first to arrive. Among them was a SWAT-like tactical and counterterrorism unit.

Uvalde is close to the border, and it’s not uncommon for Border Patrol agents to assist local police departments. 

DOJ Reaches $127.5M Settlement with Families of Parkland School Shooting Victims over FBI’s Inaction

Nikolas Cruz via instagram

By Steve Neavling

The federal government has agreed to pay the families of victims of the 2018 Parkland shooting massacre $127.5 million. The families alleged in lawsuits that the FBI failed to act on tips that may have prevented the shooting, the Justice Department said in a statement Wednesday. 

“The settlement does not amount to an admission of fault by the United States,” the DOJ said. 

The shooting occurred on Feb. 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and wounded an additional 17. 

The settlement will go to 16 of the 17 families of those killed. One of the families opted not to sue.

The families accused the FBI of negligence for failing to act on tips about Cruz. One came about five weeks before the shooting, when a tipster said Cruz had purchased guns and planned to “slip into a school and start shooting the place up.”

The tip never made its way to the FBI’s South Florida office, and the bureau never contacted Cruz, who had a troubling history of mental and behavioral problems. 

Cruz, who pleaded guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder in October 2021, faces a death sentence or life in prison when he is sentenced in April. 

FBI Launches ‘Massive Manhunt’ for Woman ‘Infatuated’ with Columbine School Shooting

FBI released these photos of Sol Pais.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Denver-area public schools were closed Wednesday as the FBI launched a manhunt for a young woman whom authorities described as armed, “extremely dangerous” and “infatuated” with the Columbine school massacre.

Authorities said the 18-year-old woman, Sol Pais, made “credible threats” against Denver-area schools in the days before the 20th anniversary of the April 20, 1999, attack that killed 12 students and one teacher.

The FBI said the woman “made threats to commit an act of violence in the Denver metropolitan area,” the Associated Press reports.

Authorities said the Florida woman bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition and flew to Colorado on Monday night. She was last seen in Jefferson County near Columbine wearing camouflage pants, a black T-shirt and black boots.

The FBI’s Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force issued a notice Tuesday to police to be on the look out for her and set up a tip line.

“This has become a massive manhunt … and every law enforcement agency is participating and helping in this effort,” Dean Phillips, special agent in charge of the FBI in Denver, said late Tuesday night.

Strikingly Similar Traits Found Among American Mass Killers in Secret Service Study

Devin Kelley killed 26 people in a Baptist church in a rural Texas town.

Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A majority of the assailants in mass attacks in the U.S. last year shared strikingly similar traits, a new Secret Service report found. 

An analysis of 28 mass attacks, which killed 147 people and injured nearly 700 more nationwide, found that all suspects were male and 64% experienced mental health issues before the assaults.

Before the attacks, 79% of them had engaged in threatening or suspicious behavior witnessed by others, according to the National Threat Assessment Center report on Mass Attacks in Public Space.

About 71% of the suspects had a criminal history, and one-third had been charged with domestic violence. Two-thirds had a history of violence, though not all of it was reported or ended in charges.

In the five years before the attacks, more than half experienced financial hardships, and 82% “exhibited behaviors that were indicative of aggressive narcissism,” the Secret Service found.

Nearly half of the suspects were driven by a personal grievance, whether real or perceived. 

Less than two months before the report was released, Nikolas Cruz is accused of killing 17 people at a Florida high school after he passed a background check to buy an AR-15 assault-style rifle.

Cruz exhibited nearly every trait found in a majority of last year’s attackers.

Lawmakers: FBI Lacks Strategy to Handle Tips After Blunder over Fla. School Shooter

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Acting FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich acknowledged to members of Congress on Tuesday that the bureau failed to properly follow up on two warning calls about the former student who gunned down 17 students and teachers at a Florida school on Valentine’s Day.

Lawmakers left the private briefing feeling frustrated and disappointed, saying the bureau’s response offered little to no new information, and the FBI still has no strategy or plan to correct future mistakes.

Nikolas Cruz via instagram

The meeting “raised more questions than it answered,” U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., tweeted after the closed-door briefing in Washington. “We should have more answers 20 days after the shooting. This was clearly a major failure and Americans deserve swift accountability and reform.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., said the lack 0f new information makes it difficult for lawmakers to understand what went wrong and how the bureau could avoid similar blunders.

“A very specific lead was given to the FBI, and they just botched it,” Krishnamoorthi said upon leaving the meeting, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. “Right now we have to find out why that happened. Most important for me is: How do we prevent this from happening again, and how do we actively figure out who is on the verge of committing a similar school shooting or any other act of terror like this?”

The first tip came in September from a Mississippi man, who alerted the FBI to a YouTube user named “nikolas cruz” – the same name as the school shooter. The tipster boasted, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

In early January, a caller who said he was close to Cruz warned that “He’s going to explode” and appeared on the verge of violence.

The FBI never forwarded the information to the FBI’s Miami field office, so the tip was never investigated.

Some Republicans are calling for the resignation of FBI Director Christopher Wray, while some Democrats say such a move would be premature.