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The sharp contrast between responses to Uvalde and Nashville shootings

What was different about the law enforcement response to Nashville and Uvalde mass shootings?
Posted at 9:14 PM, Mar 28, 2023

The school shooting in Nashville Monday, and the swift local law enforcement response, has drawn a sharp contrast to what some are calling the bungled police response in Uvalde, Texas less than a year ago.  

"We hoped this day would never ever come, but will never wait to make entry to go in and stop a threat," said Chief John Drake, with the Metro Nashville Police Department. 

According to Nashville police, the first 911 call came in at 10:13am. 15 minutes later the shooter was dead.  

Body camera video shows three officers going room by room looking for the gunman. The officers then hear gunfire upstairs and move towards the sound, before ultimately shooting and killing the suspect less than four minutes after they entered the building.  

JP Guilbault is the CEO of Navigate 360, which offers active shooter response training.  

"There was a coordinated playbook and tactical response that was well outlined and procedurally executed by the Nashville Police Department," Guilbault said. "The threat was remediated within minutes which saved lives. There was no indecision. There was first on scene response, and it was swift."

Authorities investigate a home possibly connected to the school shooting.

Nashville police: Shooter bought 7 guns, had emotional disorder

Police said the shooter purchased the guns at five different Nashville-area gun shops and hid them from their parents.

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By contrast, even 10 months later, it’s unclear where the breakdown in communication at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas came from — but the result was more than 370 officers waiting an hour and 14 minutes before breaching the classroom door and killing the shooter.  

"First on scene, move to the to the suspect, apprehend or remedy that suspect inoperable. That is the clear playbook. That did not happen at Columbine, that did not happen to Uvalde. That is the playbook to remediate and protect lives," Guilbault said. 

Parents from Uvalde reacted to the Nashville school shooting on social media — expressing their outrage and calling for change. 

Another parent who experienced the horror of a mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois and was simply visiting Tennessee, spoke out shortly after a police press conference ended.   

"How is this still happening? How are our children still dying? And how are we still failing them?" said Ashbey Beasley. 

Guilbault says while effective police response to an active shooter is important, it’s not the goal. The goal is prevention. 

"The best way to prevent this incident, or these types of incidents from ever happening, is to have someone recognize the signs and share their alertness and their concern. If there's even just a half percent chance, you have to take action," Guilbault said. 

Police say the shooter legally bought seven firearms and hid the guns from their parents before the attack at the Covenant School in Nashville.