As shots rang out inside Robb Elementary, Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo delayed officers for over an hour to confront the gunman, even though he was aware that some inside were in urgent need of medical care, according to ABC News.
Arredondo, who was the incident commander on scene, made the call “to allow time for protective gear to arrive,” in an effort to lower the risk to law enforcement officers, ABC News reports.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steven McCraw revealed this and other findings in a closed-door session at the state capitol in Austin on Thursday.
McCraw detailed the agency’s review of the mass shooting that left 21 people dead to Texas lawmakers. The information from McCraw was based on transcripts from 911 calls, dispatch audio and body camera recordings.
Arredondo was reportedly aware that police needed to move faster and was heard saying, “People are going to ask why we’re taking so long,” an official confirmed to ABC News.
According to the New York Times, Arredondo and others at the scene knew that not everyone inside of the two classrooms had succumbed to the gunfire and some desperately needed medical treatment.
Over a dozen of the 33 children and three teachers in the two classrooms were still alive during the time the shooting began inside to when four officers entered, according to the NY Times. At that time, 60 officers were working the scene.
Arredondo was reportedly “agonizing” over how long it was taking to secure shields that would protect officers as they went inside the school and tried to find a key for the classroom doors, the NY Times reports.
The delayed response is being evaluated by law enforcement to determine if any of the victims who died could have been saved if they received medical treatment sooner, or if the shooter had been confronted earlier.
According to ABC News, the delayed response goes against active shooter protocols that have been used by law enforcement agencies in the last 20 years.
Authorities said the review into the shooting response continues, and the preliminary findings from DPS have not been made public.