- Uvalde staff said they were less vigilant before the shooting due to repeated alerts for "bailouts."
- The high-speed chases that ended the pursuit hopping out of their car and running had become common.
- Human traffickers near the border have become more frequent as a result of Title 42, The New York Times reported.
Moments before the deadly May 24 shooting in the border town of Uvalde, Texas, an alert was sent out through the Robb Elementary School Raptor Alert System.
The alert was meant to notify staff of the emerging danger. However, staff members had become so accustomed to such alerts that when the shooting occcured, they didn't feel an immediate threat, the employees recently told the Texas House Committee investigating the shooting.
The alerts had become alarmingly common, due in part to the rise of human trafficking near the border: Between February and May of 2022, staff received around 50 alerts notifying them of "bailouts," or high-speed chases that result in those being pursued hopping out of their vehicle after a crash and running, Robb Elementary staff told the committee.
The report claimed that the bailouts were mostly the result of police chases that involved human traffickers or undocumented immigrants crossing the border.
These bailout incidents may be a result of Title 42 — the law that allows for expulsions of migrants at the US-Mexico border, The New York Times reported. The law has resulted in more people being sent back from entering the US, and turning to smugglers looking to make money off the $13 billion dollar industry of transporting migrants, The Times uncovered.
The smuggling and trafficking industry is now affecting the safety of migrants as well as the safety of towns near the border like Uvalde.
A report released on July 17 said that the frequency of the bailouts had increased in recent months and resulted in "a diminished sense of vigilance about responding to security alerts."
The alert system also did not differentiate notifications for "bailouts" or for other threats.
"The series of bailout-related alerts led teachers and administrators to respond to all alerts with less urgency—when they heard the sound of an alert, many assumed that it was another bailout," the report said.
Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo told the investigating committee that it was necessary to put out these alerts to protect student safety. The report notes that there had been "no incidents of bailout-related violence" on the campus.
One of the first officers to enter the building after the shooting, Uvalde Sgt. Daniel Coronado, testified that he initially believed that the shooting was actually a "bailout" situation after he did not see any injured children in the hallway.