Among the first to arrive on site, he immediately took command of the operation: disconnected from the flow of communications, he decided on the approach that would lead to a disastrous delay in the intervention
He didn’t even have a police radio with him. Pedro Arredondo, the chief of police of the small school district of Uvalde theater of the massacre of children.
The position of the man who immediately ended up at the center of criticism is aggravated for preventing dozens of policemen from breaking into the two classrooms of the Robb Elementary School while the killer continued to shoot and ended up under investigation for this.
Arredondo was one of the first agents to arrive at the scene of the attack: by the time he reached the school, only two minutes had passed since the first shots. And as the police chief of the small Uvalde school district, he took command of the operation. But he didn’t have a police radio with hima law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told the New York Times. And that may have affected her ability to communicate promptly with other agents quite a bit.
When two policemen from the Uvalde district were hit by the bullets, Arredondo decided to retreat. Using a cellphone, he called a police landline with a message that set the stage for what would lead to a disastrous delay in surgery: the gunman has an AR-15, he told his men, but the situation has evolved by the active shooter (armed man in action) that requires immediate intervention in a situation of a barricaded subject which instead requires a slower approach. State Police Director Steven McCraw called it an incorrect assessment. Also because shots could still be heard coming from the courtroom.
Now we try to clarify the communication between 911 and Arredondo who, not excluded, believed that Salvador Ramos was barricaded alone in the classrooms and that there were no children, perhaps unaware that instead they had asked for help several times in the meantime by calling the number of emergency. Hence his request: We need more firepower and we need the building to be surrounded. Instead of immediately confronting a gunman who actively shoots, as the agents have been trained to do after the killings at Columbine High School in 1999, the ever-growing platoon of armed agents arriving at the Robb Elementary was blocked for more than an hour: no action from 11:35 – when three district officers had entered the building following the killer and two of them were injured – to 12:50, when officers from the tactical unit of the police border ignored orders and broke into the courtroom and killed Ramos. The blitz after a 10-year-old girl in the class phoned rescuers and warned them that a teacher urgently needed medical attention.
There are many bodies Khloie Torres said at 12:10 – 37 minutes after the classroom shooting started. I don’t want to die, my teacher dead, my teacher dead, please help my teacher, she was hit but still alive. she stayed on the line for about 17 minutes. And 11 minutes after the call started, there was still the sound of gunfire.
Another little survivor, Miah Cerrillo, 11, who had raised the alarm using the cell phone of one of the killed teachers, will testify next Wednesday before the congressional committee in the session where gun violence will be discussed. In order not to be discovered by the killer, she had smeared her face with the blood of a comrade who had been killed. The parents of Alexandria Anyiah Rubio, one of the 19 children killed, will also testify. Shortly before – the parents of the child said – we had gone to the ceremony in which Alexandria was awarded for her votes. We told her we loved her and that we were going to pick her up after school. We didn’t think she was going to be goodbye.
With the 911 phone calls from the hostage children, dozens of agents gathered outside the school: those from the Uvalde district and the County Sheriff were added the specially trained tactical units of the Border Patrol. But even these found themselves under the command of the head of the small police school district created just four years ago to provide greater security to the eight schools of Uvalde. Now many are wondering why the command was left in the hands of Arredondo, who leads six men and has an overall limited experience, and not instead hired by more specialized agents, as is usually the case. What are your problems ?: what some agents would have shouted at Arredondo frustrated by his obstinacy not to let them intervene. But, apparently, no one exercised his rank to take him out of command.