Pete Arredondo was unaware of 911 classroom calls in Uvalde

The police chief in charge during the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre was unaware that frightened children locked in a classroom with the shooter called 911 during the massacre, a lawmaker said Thursday.

State Senator Roland Gutierrez told a news conference that the head of Uvalde’s consolidated independent school district did not have access to 911 calls when he made the decision to wait to finish off 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos.

“This is probably one of the worst investigations I’ve seen at pretty much every crime scene in the state of Texas and beyond in the last I don’t know how many years,” Gutierrez told reporters of the Robb elementary school massacre, which killed 19 students and two teachers died.

The Uvalde Police Department had access to the calls – including one in which a girl asked a dispatcher to “please send cops now!” – but that information didn’t reach the school district’s top police officer, Pete Arredondo, who was arrested during Tuesday’s carnage the commander was on site.

“I’m not telling you because I want to blame the creature. There were mistakes at every level, including legislation,” said Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde in the state legislature. “We need transparency and that didn’t happen here.”

It was more than an hour from Ramos’ arrival at the school to the moment when a tactical unit fatally shot him in adjacent classrooms.

Gutierrez said he asked state law enforcement for a list of where the 19 officers were standing in a hallway outside two connected classrooms where the shooter had locked himself in with his victims. Lawmakers said they were told by the Texas Department of Public Safety that they would receive that list tomorrow, adding that they would share it with the public.

Uvalde Police Chief Pedro "Peter" Arredondo
Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo was unaware that students were calling 911 from classrooms during the school shooting, a state senator says.
Shooting at Robb Elementary School
A child in a classroom asked for police officers to be sent into the building.
Pete Luna/Uvalde Leader News
Uvalde Police
The Uvalde school district police are under intense scrutiny over their decision to refuse entry to the school.
John Roka
Shooting in Texas
The shooting killed 19 students and two teachers.
AFP via Getty Images
Uvalde shooting
State Senator Roland Gutierrez said Uvalde police had access to the calls but the information was not being shared.

He has also asked for radio transmissions of the 911 calls, he said – but is not sure if they will be given to him.

“There is enough blame. There was human error and systemic error,” Gutierrez said.

“My biggest concern is that 19 officers did nothing for 45 minutes.”

Ramos crashed a pickup truck into a ditch near the school at around 11:28 a.m. and jumped out with an AR-15 style assault rifle. He shot the building and two bystanders at a funeral home across the street before walking through an unlocked door around 11:33 a.m., officials said.

The first officers arrived minutes later but were pushed back by gunfire. Reinforcements soon arrived – with an estimated 19 officers gathered inside the building at around 12:03 p.m

But police didn’t open the door with a janitor’s key and shot Ramos dead by 12:50 p.m., officials said. The delay has prompted questions about whether lives could have been saved had police acted sooner.

Steven McCraw, director of the state Department of Public Safety, said Arredondo’s decision not to breach the classroom door was “the wrong decision”. The US Department of Justice is investigating the local police’s response to the massacre.

The latest on the Texas shooting

Gutierrez previously said that a parent of one of the young victims told him their child bled to death but might have survived if she had received medical attention sooner.

“We have all failed. There were a lot of failures,” Guiterrez said on Thursday. “To the one family I spoke to whose daughter was shot only once and probably bled to death… All I can say is I’m sorry.” Pete Arredondo was unaware of 911 classroom calls in Uvalde


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