Texas is investigating whether Uvalde Schools Police Chief Peter Arredondo even had a police radio with him when he made the disastrous decision to resign officers — rather than confront gunman Salvador Ramos, who killed 19 children, a law enforcement source said The Post with.
The lack of a police radio may explain why Arredondo decided to hold officers back when several students called 911 from inside the school asking for help, investigators believe.
“That will be key,” the source said, “if those 911 calls have been routed to the officers or the dispatcher.”
Ramos crashed a pickup truck into a ditch in front of Robb Elementary on Tuesday, who quickly began shooting, and climbed a fence before entering through an open door, officials said.
Police officers entered the school about two minutes after the gunman barricaded himself in a classroom where all 21 victims were killed. But officials said Arrendondo ordered officers to refrain from entering the classroom, despite pleas from outside parents that someone would try to save the children.
“We’re still trying to determine if he was carrying a radio, if he was monitoring communications channels,” the source said. “If they were forwarded, it also raises questions as to why it wasn’t treated as an active shooter situation.”
“The problem right now is that there is so much confusion as to who was at the scene,” the source said, noting that officials from multiple agencies rushed to the school when the 911 calls came in.
Arredondo, the senior official and one of the first to arrive, declined to speak to The Post Saturday morning but has already spoken to the Texas Rangers, who are leading the interviews for the State Department of Public Safety’s investigation into the response of Robb Elementary School, the source said.
Officials said Arrendondo believes they needed more equipment and more officers before storming the classroom. Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said in a Friday briefing that he “made the wrong decision.”
But a police officer who was at the scene told the Post that Arrendondo was wrongly accused.
“That’s a lie [Pete] Arrendondo has told everyone to resign,” said the official, who asked not to be named. “It’s a lie. And we all get death threats. It’s a fucking nightmare.”
Arrendondo, a native of Uvaldeer who will join Uvalde City Council after winning 70% of the vote earlier this month, had plenty of active marksman training to draw on, one of his former bosses said.
Ray Garner, who supervised Arredondo when he worked in the Laredo School District, called Arredondo an “excellent officer” and said, “We do a lot of active shooter scenario training down here, and he was involved in that.” We form [officers] go straight at the archers and neutralize them.”
The latest on the Texas shooting
In fact, just two months ago, the school district hosted an active rifle practice at Uvalde High School. The state-mandated syllabus for training included a section on active shooting that morphed into a “barricade crisis.”
https://nypost.com/2022/05/28/peter-arredondo-questioned-if-he-had-police-radio-during-school-shooting/ Peter Arredondo asked if he had police radio during the school shooting