UVALDE, Texas – Audio obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders raises new questions about law enforcement’s response to last week’s Uvalde massacre, the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.
A phone message received by parents in the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District at 12:20 p.m. the day of shooting indicates that district officials were calling it an active shooter incident.
The 45-second message, previously recorded by the district’s executive director of communications and marketing, acknowledged that an active shooter was at Robb Elementary School and implored parents to stay away from the campus.
A detailed timeline released by Texas Department of Public Safety officials late last week indicates that at 12:20 p.m. law enforcement officers gathered inside the school continued to hang back and not engage the shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.
That’s despite repeated calls to 911 from people inside the building, including children.
DPS Director Steve McCraw said Friday that the scene’s incident commander, UCISD Police Department Chief Pete Arredondo, had incorrectly believed the incident had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject.
“Of course, it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. Period. There was no excuse for that,” said McCraw, when challenged by reporters questioning law enforcement’s timeline of the tragedy.
Officers, according to the timeline, did not breach the classroom and engage with Ramos until a full half-hour after the active shooter message was sent out to parents.
Nineteen children and two teachers died during the massacre, which unfolded over more than 80 minutes.
UCISD officials did not respond to a request to interview Arredondo Tuesday or provide his current status.
District officials have also not provided additional details about what went into Arredondo incorrectly labeling the incident a barricaded subject.
Officials with the city of Uvalde, which was scheduled to swear-in Arredondo during a special council meeting Tuesday evening, postponed the meeting Monday.