Critical mistakes made by police at heart of Texas school shooting investigation

Texas Department of Public Safety will further analyse the police’s response to the shooting.

Zaina Alibhai
Sunday 29 May 2022 06:03
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<p>Two teachers and 19 students were killed by the gunman</p>

Two teachers and 19 students were killed by the gunman

Critical mistakes made by police during the deadly Texas school shooting are now being investigated by the state.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, it has emerged that nearly 20 officers remained outside a classroom at Robb Elementary School despite dozens of 911 calls pleading for help.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is also seeking to determine the motive behind the gunman’s attack and why he was not intercepted sooner after it emerged a school officer responding to calls of an armed man drove past him.

At least eight phone calls to emergency services were placed from inside the classroom which the gunman entered yet officers remained in the hallway, officials said.

It is believed the school’s district police chief Pete Arredondo mistakenly determined that the shooter was barricaded inside and that there was no active threat to the children.

Mr Arredondo is now under police protection with two officers from a neighbouring department stationed in a car outside his home, according to the New York Times.

Pedro ‘Pete’ Arredondo, the school’s police chief who delayed breaching the classroom is said to be under police protection

President Joe Biden will visit Uvalde on Sunday to meet the grieving community as it prepares for a litany of funerals, after vice president Kamala Harris attended a funeral of one of the victims of the supermarket shooting in Buffalo.

Mr Biden said: “I’ll be heading to Uvalde to speak to those families. As I speak, those parents are literally preparing to bury their children.

“Let’s be clear: evil came to that elementary school classroom in Texas, to that grocery store in New York.”

At the same time as Mr Biden will be paying his condolences to the victims’ families, the National Rifle Association (NRA) will be holding its annual convention.

Former president Donald Trump and Texas senator Ted Cruz were among the politicians who spoke at the gathering.

During his speech, Mr Trump argued teachers should be armed so they can defend their students and called for changes to school buildings.

“Classroom doors should be hardened to make them lockable from the inside and closed to intruders from the outside,” he said.

President Trump also garnered criticism for dancing on stage after making his address, in which he read out the names of those who had died at Robb Elementary School.

The president will visit Uvalde on Sunday

Mr Cruz insisted gun bans were not the way to tackle gun violence.

“The rate of gun ownership hasn’t changed. Gun bans do not work – look at Chicago. If they worked, Chicago wouldn’t be the murder hellhole that it has been for far too long,” he stated, echoing claims previously made by Texas governor Greg Abbott.

“Had Uvalde gotten a grant to upgrade school security, they might have made changes that would have stopped the shooter and killed him there on the ground, before he hurt any of these innocent kids and teachers.”

Mr Abbott – a Republican and staunch supporter of gun rights – addressed the meeting in a pre-recorded message on Friday\, criticising the police’s response to the shooting.

He denied new gun laws introduced in the state – including the removal of licensing requirements to carry a concealed weapon – played a factor in the tragedy.

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