Leading SA: Sheriff Salazar weighs in on law enforcement response during Uvalde elementary shooting

The sheriff joined Leading SA Sunday to discuss the shooting and its aftermath

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar joined Leading SA Sunday to discuss the law enforcement response of the deadly shooting that unfolded at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

SAN ANTONIO – In the aftermath of the investigation into the deadly massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, there are a lot of questions in regards to law enforcement and its response.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar joined us on Leading SA Sunday to discuss the response to the shooting.

“I mean, it’s a heartbreaking situation, no matter how you look at it. You know, I’m also the husband of a teacher. So this is, I’d be lying if I said this was always a real concern. As the spouse of a teacher, is their school prepared for something like this? And is local law enforcement prepared for it as well?” Salazar said.

The sheriff added that he reviewed his process and procedures with his department not long after the shooting.

“In fact, right after the shooting happened, a couple of hours later, we actually sent a reminder email to all my deputies to talk about our particular rules of engagement with regard to an active shooter situation. Priority number one, get in there. Stop the killing. In other words, neutralize that threat and then stop the dying. First aid, start administering lifesaving procedures. Get first, get the ambulance in. But the first thing you have to do is get in there and stop that shooter,” Salazar said.

The sheriff’s office is even going as far as providing support to local Bexar County schools.

“We wanted to make sure to calm the situation. I know that parents were freaking out and understandably so, myself included with, you know, the last couple of days of school. And we always see copycat threats, which we saw those -- we saw on-screen. We saw several threats here locally,” Salazar said.

The sheriff said one way to better prevent shootings like Robb Elementary is better monitoring of social media, and a strict “see something, say something” policy.

“But I think it’s also incumbent upon the social media platforms to recognize their role in this and being able to detect these things earlier and do something about it, reporting it to law enforcement. We all know there’s a right to privacy. But also when you look at it this way, that this could have been an indicator had somebody said something, we could have averted this horrible tragedy just by somebody reporting that conduct,” Sheriff Salazar said.

The sheriff is not only the leader of a law enforcement agency, but he is also the spouse of a teacher and a father.

“I think you go in. You go in. I don’t know what they base their belief on, if that’s the case, that they believe there was no children under active threat. I don’t know what they base that on, but I feel it was a lack of training maybe that contributed to this, maybe a bit of panic. You know, I’m just thinking, rural school district, maybe this wasn’t something they were fully expecting. I mean, who could absolutely expect this at all times? But you absolutely have to. And then maybe part of it was the lack of familiarization with the facility itself,” Sheriff Salazar said.

About the Author:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.