Audio shows DPS was aware children were trapped in Robb Elementary 30 minutes before classroom was breached, CNN reports

Call between DPS employee and Uvalde police dispatcher ended at 12:20 p.m.

New audio obtained by CNN shows Texas's top law enforcement agency knew children were trapped in Robb Elementary more than 30 minutes before anyone breached the classroom.

New audio obtained by CNN shows the Texas Department of Public Safety was made aware that children were trapped in Robb Elementary 30 minutes before the Border Patrol Tactical Unit finally breached the classroom and killed the shooter.

The audio is of a woman “from DPS in Austin” calling the Uvalde police dispatchers to get more information to relay to the DPS teams being sent to help, according to CNN.

The dispatcher tells the woman, “We have several DOAs (deaths).”

“Are you kidding me?” the DPS employee asked.

“I am not,” the dispatcher replies.

The dispatcher tells the DPS employee that the shooter is still in the school with students and the call ends at 12:20 p.m.

CNN reached out to DPS for more information about the call including the rank of the DPS employee and whether she communicated the information to anyone else in the agency.

You can watch CNN’s report in the video player at the top of this article.

A total of 376 law enforcement officers from 23 agencies — including 91 men and women from DPS — responded to the Robb massacre.

DPS Director Steve McCraw has largely blamed Uvalde ISD police and other local agencies for failing to act promptly to stop the shooter.

McCraw told USA Today that DPS’s first captain wasn’t on the scene until 12:25 p.m., about an hour into the standoff. But the Texas Tribune reported that records show a DPS special agent arrived around 20 minutes after the shooting started.

Last month, Sgt. Juan Maldonado — one of the first DPS troopers to arrive on the scene — was fired.

Security camera footage revealed that Maldonado held the door to the school open and stood idly by when another officer ran out of the building bleeding, begging others to go in. Maldonado was accused of not following active shooter protocol.

He is one of seven DPS employees whose conduct that day is being investigated by the DPS Inspector General.

DPS SWAT commander, Capt. John Miller said he deployed his entire team when they were notified of the active shooter at about noon on May 24, CNN reported. But he said the team wasn’t apprised of any new information as they traveled the 175 miles to Uvalde.

“Initially the word was there’s a barricaded shooter, but he’s shooting at law enforcement in a school,” Miller said in interview records obtained by CNN. “There was no information after that regarding if there was hostages.”

He said only one member of his team made it to the school before BORTAC breached the classroom.

In police body camera video from the scene, DPS Capt. Joel Betancourt could be heard ordering the breach team to stop their advance into the classroom because he believed a more highly-skilled team was coming, CNN previously reported.

As news from official investigating agencies has been slow to come, CNN has been re-analyzing the released body cam footage for clues about which agencies knew what, and when.

On Wednesday, Lt. Mariano Pargas, the acting Uvalde police chief on the day of the shooting, retired following reports by CNN showing that he spoke with a 911 dispatcher on the day of the shooting and knew there was a room “full of victims” but did not act swiftly or communicate the knowledge to other law enforcement.

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About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.