JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – News4JAX spoke with a local firearms instructor on Monday after an investigative report was released Sunday on the May 24 mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 students and two teachers.
The 77-page preliminary report was written by an investigative committee from the Texas House of Representatives.
The damning report details the law enforcement response that has been seen in surveillance and newly-released body camera video. According to the report, nearly 400 law enforcement officials rushed to the shooting at Robb Elementary School but “egregiously poor decision-making” resulted in more than an hour of chaos before the gunman who took 21 lives was finally confronted and killed. The report was the first to criticize both state and federal law enforcement, and not just local authorities in the South Texas town for the bewildering inaction by heavily armed officers as a gunman fired inside two fourth-grade classrooms.
The report also discusses what the shooter was doing in the weeks leading up to the attack. According to the report, a former girlfriend told the FBI that the shooter was “lonely and depressed, constantly teased by friends who called him a ‘school shooter.’”
And there were a number of people who were aware of the shooter’s intentions. The report states, “Still seventeen at the time, the attacker asked at least two different people to buy guns for him, which they both refused to do.”
The report shows a list of ammunition and weaponry, including “60 30-round magazines, a holographic weapon sight, and a Hellfire Gen 2 snap-on trigger system,” which is designed to increase the firing speed of semi-automatic weapons.
“Hellfire is just like a bump stock. What it does is it works on the action of the recoil of the gun,” Rod Mills, a firearms instructor and the owner of Scorched Earth Firearms Training in Jacksonville, told News4JAX on Monday.
Mills was surprised that the 18-year-old shooter could afford all of that weaponry.
“It is very expensive when you tally up the total,” Mills said.
According to the report, the shooter paid $1,761.50 for one order and $2,054.28 for another, and there were more beyond that.
Mills and News4JAX watched video of the shooter entering the school, and Mills said the way the attacker walked casually around a corner and held his weapon was telling that this was not a trained gunman.
“Nothing he’s doing is tactical right now. He’s just really walking in, and I mean, there’s nobody there,” Mills said.
Mills said a trained gunman would not have been walking like that.
“Definitely not,” Mills said. “They would have, right there at that corner there, he would be doing what they call CQB — close quarters battle. He would actually be peeking around, had the gun in the ready position.”
Mills said even one trained law enforcement officer could have stopped the novice gunman.
On Monday, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced an internal review over the slow response to the mass shooting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.