September 27, 2022
The police official who oversaw the delayed response to the Uvalde school shooting was unaware children in the classroom barricaded with the shooter were on the phone with police while nearly 20 officers stood idly by, according to a state senator.

The police official who oversaw the delayed response to the Uvalde school shooting was unaware children in the classroom barricaded with the shooter were on the phone with police while nearly 20 officers stood idly by, according to a state senator.

Details about the children’s pleas to law enforcement were relayed to an Uvalde police officer — but not to Pete Arredondo, the chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and the on-site commander during the response, Democratic state Sen. Roland Gutierrez revealed.

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“We were told last week that officer Arredondo was the recipient of 911 calls,” Gutierrez, whose district includes Uvalde, said, per NBCDFW. “According to the Commission on State Emergency Communication, who monitors all 911 agencies throughout the state … in this instance, it was Uvalde Police. They do not know who Uvalde Police was communicating the 911 calls to. What we do know is that the 911 calls were not being communicated to the so-called incident commander. They were being communicated to a Uvalde Police Officer.”

Arredondo has faced a firestorm for law enforcement’s delayed response to the tragic massacre, in which 19 children and two teachers were gunned down by a crazed, 18-year-old shooter. Some 19 officers stood in a hallway near the besieged classroom for over 45 minutes before officials found a key to open the door, according to a timeline of events laid out by Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw during a news conference, CBS reported.

As the incident commander, Arredondo was in charge of the delayed reaction. At the time, Arredondo believed there was no active threat to the schoolchildren and opted to wait for a key to order the breach of the classroom, according to McCraw.

Critics quickly pointed to a myriad of phone calls officials revealed children had with police during the bloody rampage, but new revelations that Arredondo was unaware of those calls have raised fresh questions about the apparent breakdown in communications. Gutierrez stressed it is unclear whether officers stationed outside the classroom were privy to the calls and decried the situation as a “system failure.”

“Uvalde PD was the one receiving the 911 calls for 45 minutes while officers were sitting in a hallway, while 19 officers were sitting in a hallway for 45 minutes,” Gutierrez said, according to NBCDFW. “We don’t know if it was being communicated to those people or not.”

“I want to know specifically who was receiving the 911 calls,” he added, the outlet reported.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Amid the torrent of criticism over the prolonged response, Arredondo was sworn in as a city councilman Tuesday. He also faced allegations that he was being unresponsive to follow-up interview requests from state officials but has insisted he has been in contact with Texas authorities “every day.”

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