December 2, 2022

Uvalde elementary school shooting: Responding officers did not attempt to open doors to classrooms for over an hour, reports say

5 min read

Officers did not have weapons or equipment. A security footage obtained by Austin American Statesman shows at least three officers in the hallway – two with rifles and one with a tactical shield – 11:52 p.m. On, 19 minutes after the gunman entered the school.

Overall, officers had access to four ballistic shields inside the school, the fourth of which arrived 30 minutes earlier when officers stormed classrooms, the Tribune reported, citing a law enforcement transcript.

Still, he stayed in the hallway outside the classrooms and did not try to enter until 12:50.

During those more than 70 minutes, some children were still alive and calling 911 for help. One student told CNN that she contaminated herself with her friend’s blood and played dead.

New details raise important questions about the police’s response to the delay in the shooting, which killed 19 children and two teachers. And reporting – in three different news outlets and citing unnamed sources – also highlights the lack of public transparency of Texas authorities in such a critical case.

Texas Senator Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat, told CNN on Monday that the reporting raises questions about why police did not try to break down the door quickly.

Source: Texas House expects to release preliminary investigation report on Uvalde tragedy by mid-July.

“We see that the (present) officers there have the proper ammunition, the proper equipment that can break this room,” he said. “I do not understand why this did not happen, why they did not break into the room.

“These answers need to be found. They should not be disseminated through the media like this. We should tell the law enforcement agencies exactly what went wrong. And the fact that we are not getting that information is just that.” It’s a deception. And by itself. “

More details are expected Tuesday. Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, is testifying before a Texas Senate committee that protects all taxis, according to the office of Texas State Senator Robert Nichols, who chairs the committee.

According to Nicholas’ office, McCraw and his team will display photographs and sketches of the school showing the layout of the classrooms.

What the new reporting shows.

The school police chief and local officials have come under fire. The length of time elapsed Respondents were able to reach the victims before and after the gunman was killed. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety timeline, the gunman entered one of the classrooms at 11:33 a.m. and started firing, and he remained in the classrooms until officers spotted him at 12:50 p.m. Did not kill
Eleven officers – including Patt Eredondo, the district police chief at Olde School – were inside Rob Elementary within three minutes. The gunman is entering. On May 24, law enforcement sources close to the investigation told CNN.

Authorities say early officers reached the adjoining classrooms 111 and 112 and were shot by gunmen. They then retreated and stayed in the adjoining hallway.

Parents and residents call on the Old School Board to fire the district police chief during an emotional open forum.
Arredondo, identified by other personnel as the commander at the scene, had earlier said. Texas Tribune That the officers had found. The classroom doors were locked. And reinforced with a steel jam, preventing any possible reaction or rescue. An attempt was made to find a key to open the door, he said.

However, preliminary evidence indicates that the officers did not reach the door again until an hour later.

Review of surveillance footage and transcripts of radio traffic and phone calls by the Tribune – which states that a senior state DPS official confirmed the details – put the gunman inside Class 111 , Briefly exited the door, then re-entered and opened fire.

According to the Tribune and CNN law enforcement sources confirmed that within minutes of the shooting, 11 officers arrived at the scene.

According to sources, shortly after the gunman opened fire on the officers, Aredondo called the Yolde Police Department dispatcher, asking for more help and saying he did not have his own radio.

Citing a transcript, the Tribune notes that “by the time Aredondo called the dispatch, at least 11 officers had entered the school and at least two could be seen in the video carrying rifles. “It doesn’t have firepower. Fight the gunman alone.”

An official said he needed to work, according to the US State Department.

“If there are children, we need to go there,” the officer said. Another officer replied, “He will determine who is in charge.”

Arredondo was First told the Tribune He did not consider himself the commander of the incident that day. However, according to the Tribune, at 11:50 a.m., at least one of the officers believed Aridundo was leading a law enforcement response inside the school, and told others, “The chief is in charge.”

According to the Tribune, in the first minutes of his response, an officer also said that a Heligan, a firefighting tool used for forced entry, was at the scene. However, the Tribune reported that the device was not brought to the school until one hour after the officers arrived and was never used.

Towards the end of the standoff, according to law enforcement sources, Eredondo wondered if officers would consider “getting him out the window.” A body camera transcript showed Arredondo at 12:46 a.m. pointing to other officers that if the SWAT response team was ready, they should break through the door, an operation that took place four minutes later.

CNN has contacted both Arredondo’s attorney George Hyde and the Uvalde Police Department regarding the reports.

According to the committee, Eredondo, who has not spoken in public since the incident, will testify behind closed doors in front of a committee investigating the Texas House shooting on Tuesday.

The new report further infuriates the bereaved families whose questions have not yet been answered.

“I feel angry,” said Jose Flores Sr. His 10-year-old son, Jose Flores Jr., Were among the children killed. “They left our children downstairs, left them there in fear and who knows, crying, they left them,” Flores said. CNN’s “New Day” When asked about the latest revelations.

“They are considered trained professionals,” Flores said of the police. “I don’t understand why they waited so long to go back … It’s not right to stand back for an hour, let them in with this gunman. It’s cowardly, cowardly, cowardly.”

CNN’s Rosalina Neves and Dave Alsop contributed to this report.

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