There was recently another horrible tragedy of a school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two staff members were killed.
The more we learned the facts about this event, the more suspicious it became.
Given the increasingly changing story and level of unbelievable inaction by the police, I asked very hard questions in a post on social media.
Instead of contacting me for an explanation, an anonymous author with our local newspapers wrote an editorial (“Rep. Lucas’ latest outrage a sad pattern,” June 29) based simply on a story from another news media source that has since changed its original headline for being so misleading. The anonymous editorial author was offended that I asked legitimate questions and attacked me by saying that it seems like I “have more empathy for smoking guns than for children or grieving parents.”
As a parent and moral human being, I find this comment as offensive and reprehensible as I do disgraceful.
Based on the known facts, I asked if the shooting was allowed to happen. I never “suggested without evidence that maybe the horrific slaughter of elementary-age children last month in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, had been staged,” as the anonymous author so falsely stated. These are two entirely different things.
I asked difficult questions because difficult questions begged to be asked of what happened that day.
Uvalde is a small town of about 15,000 people where another school shooting happened while police waited outside.
The other similar tragedy was at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018. There, police also waited outside while the shooter killed 14 children and three staff members. Afterward, parents from Parkland sued for police failure to engage, but a federal court ruled that police do not have a duty to protect us, even children as they are being murdered.
It gets worse.
At Uvalde, the police waited for more than an hour and 15 minutes as little children were calling 911 begging for help.
The police were stopping and detaining frantic parents, keeping them from going inside to save their children.
The police disarmed and escorted away from the scene a fellow police officer who tried to go in to save his wife, who was calling him from inside, begging for help.
Think about this. Every police officer I know would have been in that building the instant they were on scene, yet the Uvalde police were doing the unthinkable — waiting as children were being murdered inside a school.
And the story kept changing.
We were told that police initially engaged the shooter when he arrived at the school. They did not.
We were told that police didn’t go into the building for fear of being outgunned. Video evidence revealed pictures of some police officers heavily armed with ARs, body armor and bullet shields waiting in the hallways for almost an hour but not engaging the shooter.
We were told that police were waiting to get a key to unlock a door so they could engage the shooter. The door was unlocked.
The police chief said he was unsure who was in charge of the scene that day. How does a police chief, who has spent decades in law enforcement and accrued countless hours of leadership training, not know who would be in charge of an active shooter situation in his town?
I asked how an unemployed 18-year-old living with his grandmother was able to purchase several thousands of dollars of firearms, ammunition and gear.
I asked these questions because they beg to be asked.
Given the changing narrative, gross negligence and horrible results of that day, I stand by my questions.
A school shooting is the most tragic event possible, and it is imperative that all options be considered. To not consider every possible scenario and automatically take something off the table because it is difficult to comprehend is not only irresponsible but does a disservice in preventing future tragedies.
I believe a full, independent investigation must be conducted with all possible scenarios considered, and unlike the author of the editorial that did not disclose their name, I will.