Records Show Uvalde Police Chief Who Slowed Shooting Response Had Relevant Training Just Months Prior
The police chief who stopped officers from directly engaging the active gunman during the Tuesday shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, had recently completed active shooter response training.
Police Chief Peter Arredondo of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District had finished an eight-hour active shooter course on Dec. 17, 2021, public records obtained by NBC News show.
He completed the same course on Aug. 25, 2020, the outlet reported.
Arredondo reportedly ordered at least 19 officers not to enter the classroom where Salvador Ramos carried out the hour-long massacre.
He told his officers not to break in because he thought the shooter had barricaded himself and that children were no longer in danger, according to Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“From the benefit of hindsight, where I’m standing now, of course, it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. Period,” McCraw said during a Friday news conference. “There was no excuse for that.”
Ramos was eventually killed by U.S. Border Patrol agents after they ignored instructions from local law enforcement not to enter the school.
The training course Arredondo took clearly lays out how officers should “compare/contrast an active shooter event and a hostage or barricade crisis,” NBC reported.
Arredondo spent time looking for keys to the school instead of sending officers to fight Ramos, according to the outlet.
The police chief did not stand alongside McCraw during the news conference on Friday and McCraw did not mention him by name.
Just weeks before the shooting, Arredondo won an election to become a member of the city council, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
Now, however, the 25-year law enforcement veteran faces criticism for his decision not to breach the classroom where Ramos killed 19 children and two adults.
“We’re still trying to determine if he had a radio on him, if he was monitoring the communication channels,” a source familiar with state investigations told the New York Post.
The source said a key determination will be whether “911 calls were being communicated to the officers or the incident commander.”
“If they were being relayed, it also raises questions as to why it was not treated as an active shooter situation,” the source said.
The source added that the issue facing investigators is confusion surrounding who was on the crime scene, considering that officers from several agencies responded to 911 calls.
However, one cop who was present at the scene told the Post that Arredondo has been misrepresented.
“It’s a lie that Arrendondo told everyone to stand down,” the officer said. “It’s a lie. And we’re all getting death threats. It’s a f***g nightmare.”
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