The police chief who led the initial police response to last week’s mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas was unaware of 911 calls made by students from within the classroom, according to Texas State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat who represents the area.
Gutierrez said calls from students who were facing gunfire were dispatched to a City of Uvalde police officer, not school district Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who was leading the response.
Texas Department of Public Safety officials have blamed Arredondo for leading the botched response to the massacre. It took more than an hour for officers to confront the gunman responsible for killing 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
DPS officials said Arredondo directed officers not to engage the gunman, which goes against active shooter best practices. DPS officials said that Arredondo believed the incident was a barricade situation, not an active shooter, despite 911 calls from students experiencing gunfire.
“The 911 calls were not being communicated to the so-called incident commander Officer Arredondo,” Gutierrez said. “They were being communicated to an Uvalde police officer and the state agency who I have spoken to has not told me who that is.”
Gutierrez said he has requested that police radio broadcasts be made public, but said he does not expect those to be made available any time soon.
The Department of Justice is investigating law enforcement’s handling of the mass shooting.