Chief Didn't Bring Police Radio to School

Pete Arredondo might not have known at first about the 911 calls coming from the classroom
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2022 4:20 PM CDT
Chief Arrived at Uvalde School Without a Police Radio
Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo, third from left, stands during a news conference outside Robb Elementary last week.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

The school district police chief who took charge of the response to the Uvalde shootings arrived quickly at Robb Elementary, while shots were still being fired inside. But Pete Arredondo didn't have a police radio with him, the New York Times reports. He called a police landline on a cellphone, per the Texas Tribune. Arredondo reported that the gunman had an AR-15 and was contained, calling for backup officers to surround the school. The chief has been widely criticized for waiting for more help instead of following the standard police policy of having his officers charge the classroom in which the gunman was killing students and teachers.

Because he didn't have a police radio, Arredondo might not have known about the 911 calls being placed from inside the school. And he could have had a limited ability in the beginning to talk with dispatchers. The Times found the handling of the police response might have allowed more killings to take place in the school and caused medical help to the wounded victims to be delayed. The Justice Department has announced a review. Officers from at least 14 agencies lingered outside while gunshots could be heard in the building. A group of officers from various agencies eventually ignored orders and charged into the classroom, killing the gunman. (More Uvalde mass shooting stories.)

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