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Tags: uvalde | texas | shooting | fbi | guns | police

Report: Uvalde Police Chief Had No Radio Access on Arrival at Active-Shooter Scene

Report: Uvalde Police Chief Had No Radio Access on Arrival at Active-Shooter Scene
(Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 03 June 2022 04:06 PM EDT

Pete Arredondo, the chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police department, was reportedly among the first wave of law enforcement officers to reach the scene of last week's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which led to the deaths of 19 children and two adults. 

But according to The New York Times, Chief Arredondo did not have police radio access at the time; and citing a source from the same report, that impeded Arredondo's ability to communicate with police dispatchers regarding the active shooter's actions/whereabouts inside the school.

Once two supervisory officers from Uvalde's police force were grazed by bullets from the shooting suspect — 18-year-old Salvador Ramos — Arredondo reportedly ordered his officers to fall back.

Citing the Times reporting, Arredondo then used a cellphone to call Uvalde police's landline number, and subsequently left a message that would "prove to be a disastrous delay" in stopping the attack.

Arredondo's message: "The gunman has an AR-15, but he is contained; we need more firepower, and we need the building surrounded."

As such, according to timeline estimates, the Uvalde officers held back for more than one hour outside the suspect's specific area at Robb Elementary, instead of directly confronting the active shooter — as crisis officers have been trained to do since the Columbine High School shooting outside Denver, Colorado, in 1999.

The Times' investigation shows that a tactical team led by Border Patrol officers ultimately ignored orders not to breach the classroom after a 10-year-old girl inside the classroom warned 911 dispatchers that one of the two teachers required urgent medical attention.

"There is a lot of bodies," 10-year-old student Khloe Torres quietly told a 911 dispatcher at 12:10 p.m., 37 minutes after the gunman allegedly began shooting inside the classroom, according to the Times' review of a transcript of the call.

"I don't want to die. My teacher is dead, my teacher is dead. Please send help, send help for my teacher, she is shot but still alive."

Young Khloe reportedly stayed on the line for roughly 17 minutes. Around 11 minutes into the call, the sound of gunfire could be heard.

The officers who breached the locked classrooms with a janitor's key were not a formal tactical unit, according to a source speaking with the Times. The officers, including specially trained Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, along with a sheriff's deputy, "formed an ad hoc group on their own" and gathered in the hallway outside the classroom — since there was no chain of command present in the area.

The officers advanced into the classroom, according to the Times, even after one officer heard the following command in their earpiece: "Do not breach." The officers entered the classroom anyway, and reportedly killed Ramos.

At the peak of responding to the mass shooting, the Times reports that Arredondo was responsible for communicating with approximately 140 law enforcement officers and they're all now part of the comprehensive investigation of the all-encompassing response, which is reportedly being conducted by the Department of Justice, the Texas Rangers, and the local district attorney's office.

"I think [it's] unfair to accuse anybody until we know all the facts," said Uvalde County's top executive, Bill Mitchell.

"We have agencies coming out and saying there were mistakes. How do we know, days after, what mistakes?"

According to the Times, school-district police departments have jurisdiction over school campuses — in Uvalde, there are eight — in addition to any place where school buses travel.

"If we should have a situation like that, we would go in, handle the situation, stop the kill, and at that point we would probably look to the state or the feds to assist us with the forensics," said Police Chief Solomon Cook of the Humble Independent School District police department, in the suburbs of Houston.

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Pete Arredondo, the chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police department, was reportedly among the first wave of law enforcement officers to reach the scene of last week's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which led to the ...
uvalde, texas, shooting, fbi, guns, police
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2022-06-03
Friday, 03 June 2022 04:06 PM
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