UVALDE, Texas (KXAN) — The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police chief has not responded to a Texas Rangers’ request for a follow-up interview made “a couple of days ago,” a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson told Nexstar’s KXAN Tuesday.
The spokesperson said the Uvalde Police Department and Uvalde CISD are still cooperating. Pete Arredondo, the district police chief, has come under criticism from Uvalde citizens after state police officials said it took approximately 40 minutes to an hour for officers to enter the classroom where the 18-year-old gunman was.
During a press conference Friday, Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw said officers at the scene of the Uvalde school shooting made no attempts to breach the classroom to rescue the children inside from an active shooter for about an hour because it was believed the incident had turned into a barricaded subject call.
McCraw said during the time law enforcement was waiting to breach the classroom, children pleaded on the phone with 911 at least twice to send help.
“From the benefit of hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision. It was a wrong decision, period. There’s no excuse for that. But again, I wasn’t there, but I’m just telling you from what we know, we believe there should’ve been an entry as soon as you can,” McCraw said.
The shooting at Robb Elementary School killed 19 children and two teachers after the gunman entered the school with a rifle on May 24. Salvador Ramos, the gunman, was killed by a U.S. Border Patrol tactical team inside a classroom.
The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas released a statement Tuesday, “advising members to cooperate fully with all official governmental investigations into actions relating to the law enforcement response” to the shooting.
Additionally, CLEAT said the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation will uncover the events of the shooting after “false and misleading information in the aftermath of this tragedy.”
There has been a great deal of false and misleading information in the aftermath of this tragedy. Some of the information came from the very highest levels of government and law enforcement. Sources that Texans once saw as iron-clad and completely reliable have now been proven false. This false information has exacerbated ill-informed speculation which has, in turn, created a hotbed of unreliability when it comes to finding the truth. The truth we all can trust. For this reason, we believe that a strong, independent investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice with assistance from the FBI will discover what really happened, thus helping agencies everywhere to understand how best to stop a similar compounded tragedy from happening again.CLEAT statement on police response to Uvalde shooting
On Tuesday, officials clarified how the shooter got inside the school. After investigators initially said the door had been propped open with a rock by a teacher, allowing the gunman access to classrooms, Chief Communications Officer for the Texas Department of Public Safety Travis Considine told the Associated Press the teacher removed the rock and closed the door, but it didn’t lock.