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Tags: uvalde | school | shooting | children | police

Docs Show Uvalde Chief Delayed in Fear of Officers' Lives

Docs Show Uvalde Chief Delayed in Fear of Officers' Lives
(Chandan Khanna/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 09 June 2022 05:42 PM EDT

Documents detailing the police response at the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school show the police were aware of survivors in the classrooms, but the police commander kept officers from moving on the shooter because he feared for their safety.

More than one dozen students remained alive for one hour and 17 minutes before police entered their classrooms during the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.

The findings were shown in The New York Times review of police documents, including transcripts and video from body cameras.

Among the findings of the Times' detailed reconstruction of the police response to the shooting that left 19 children dead along with two teachers is that School Police Chief Pete Arredondo did not want officers moving on the shooter until protective shields arrived.

There had been a pair of officers grazed by the shooter's bullets when they tried to look through the window of the classroom door, according to the Times.

"People are going to ask why we're taking so long," a man believed to be Chief Arredondo said, according to body camera footage reviewed by the Times. "We're trying to preserve the rest of the life."

There were 33 children and three teachers in the two classrooms, with more than a dozen still alive during that time, as 60 police officers arrived at the scene, according to the report.

Evidence pointing to the delay costing lives included a teacher being carried out in extreme pain before dying in an ambulance, while at least three children rushed from the scene died at nearby hospitals, according to the documents reviewed by the Times.

Xavier Lopez, 10, was one of the children alive, waiting for medical attention after a gunshot wound to the back, before being rushed to the hospital.

"He could have been saved," grandfather Leonard Sandoval told the Times. "The police did not go in for more than an hour. He bled out."

Transcripts of body camera footage purportedly have Arredondo aware of survivors in the classrooms with the holed-up shooter.

"We think there are some injuries in there," a man believed to be Arredondo said, the transcript showed, according to the Times. "And so you know what we did, we cleared off the rest of the building so we wouldn't have any more, besides what's already in there, obviously."

Texas state police and the U.S. Justice Department are investigating the response, and the documents the Times reviewed will be utilized in those probes.

The body camera footage will help construct the chain of command and the officers' response, which the Times reported showed there were officers urging to move on the shooter long before Arredondo's approval or the shields arrived.

The body camera transcripts suggest the team that moved in on the shooter and ultimately eliminated him might have been unaware Arredondo was ready to give them a go-ahead, the Times reported.

Arredondo was one of the first officers to arrive outside the classroom door where the shooter was holed up, and after the two officers were grazed by shots from the shooter, there was a 40-minute delay until ultimately the move on the shooter was made, the Times reported.

In Room 111, 11 of the 15 children were killed — three were uninjured and one left wounded; in Room 112, connected internally by a thin door, eight children and two teachers were killed, nine were wounded and one was left uninjured, the Times reported.

The shooter was in a corner near a Room 111 closet, facing the door where officers eventually came through. He exchanged fire with the officers, hitting a Border Patrol agent near the door, before being hit in the head by a fatal shot by police, according to the Times.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
Documents detailing the police response at the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school show the police were aware of survivors in the classrooms and the police commander kept officers from moving on the shooter because he feared for their safety. More than one dozen students ...
uvalde, school, shooting, children, police
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2022-42-09
Thursday, 09 June 2022 05:42 PM
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