The Texas school police chief, criticized for his actions during one of the deadliest shootings in the classroom in U.S. history, said in his first extensive comments that he was not held responsible while the massacre unfolded and assumed that someone else was.
Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde School District Police Chief, also told the Texas Tribune in an interview published Thursday that he intentionally left police and campus radios before entering Robb Elementary School.
An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers behind a closed classroom door that the boss said was reinforced with a steel jaw and could not be kicked.
Bad radio communications are among the concerns about how police handled the May 24 shooting and why they did not confront the gunman for more than an hour, although distressed parents outside the school urged officers to enter.
Separately, the New York Times reported Thursday that documents show police waiting for protective equipment while delaying entry to campus, although they found that some victims needed medical treatment.
Arredondo told the Tribune that from the school hallway he used his cell phone to order tactical equipment, a sniper and keys to enter the classroom. He said he stopped 40 minutes from the door to avoid firing shots and tried to take dozens of keys, but one by one, they failed to work.
“Every time I tried a key I was just praying,” he told the Tribune.
In the more than two weeks since the shooting, Arredondo’s actions have been heavily scrutinized by both state officials and experts trained in mass shooting responses.
Steven McCraw, head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said the school’s police chief, whom he described as the commander of the incident, made the “wrong decision” not to order officers to invade the classroom faster to confront to the gunman.
But Arredondo, who told the Tribune that he believed carrying radios would stop him from entering school and knew that radios did not work in some school buildings, said he was never considered the commander of the incident and did not give instructions. that the police do not try to invade the building.
“I didn’t give any orders,” Arredondo said. “I asked for help and asked for an extraction tool to open the door.”
Texas school police chief says he did not think he was in command during the shooting Texas school shooting
Source link Texas school police chief says he did not think he was in command during the shooting Texas school shooting