WARRINGTON, Pa. (CBS) — A Bucks County man is traveling to Uvalde, Texas. He is reviewing the response effort following last month’s mass shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead.
“When the call did come in from the Department of Justice I had no second thoughts,” Mark Lomax said.
Lomax is a 27-year veteran of the Pennsylvania State Police and tactical operations expert serving oversees for the U.N. in Liberia and Western Africa. The Warrington native was recently tapped to be part of a nine-member team traveling to Uvalde to review the response effort following last month’s mass shooting.
“The purpose is to do an after-action report that would include those things that were in place prior to the incident, meaning policies and training and understandings between departments, the actual event that occurred, and then post,” Lomax said.
Uvalde authorities have faced heavy criticism, with reports of parents begging officers to enter the elementary school as the shooter was still inside.
“As a result of an after-action report that was done in Columbine that whole paradigm shifted to whoever is first on scene — patrol, detectives, whomever. uniform, non-uniform — you go in,” Lomax said.
He says one of the biggest parts of a mission like this is the emotional toll.
“Not only are we mindful when we do interviews, or whatever, of the stress we’re bringing back out again but also being mindful of the team and the support part of how that can affect us personally,” Lomax said.
Lessons learned from Uvalde will not only be shared with schools nationwide but also to churches, offices and other businesses.
The mayor of Uvalde says Robb Elementary School will be demolished. He did not give a timeline.
The announcement comes after a senior Texas official said the law enforcement response to the shooting was “an abject failure.”
He added that a commander put the lives of officers over those of the children.