Pete Arredondo, chief of police for the Uvalde (Texas) school district, and others who were part of the operation for the shooting at Robb Elementary School, were aware that not everyone who was inside the two connected classrooms was dead. The question even arises as to whether the lives of some of the 21 deceased could have been saved if more diligence had been taken.
Soldiers armed to the teeth delayed the confrontation with the gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, for more than an hour, despite the fact that those who supervised the operation received information that some of those trapped in those classrooms needed urgent medical treatment. This is how The New York Times revealed them this Thursday, after reviewing video recordings and other investigation materials. This documentation indicates that the police officers delayed their action while waiting for the protection material to reduce the risk to the security forces.
Arredondo, who was leading the response to the attack and whom many accuse of not having done his duty, seems to be unhinged in that recording due to the delay and the time that elapsed for the protection shields used by the agents to arrive when they finally entered the interior. of the classrooms.
Evidence that people were alive inside included a report from a school district police officer who had spoken on the phone to his wife, one of the teachers. She told him that she had been shot. More than a dozen, of the 33 children and three teachers who were in those classrooms, remained alive during the hour and 17 minutes since the gunman began shooting inside the enclosure and the entry of the four agents who killed the aggressor. At that time there were more than 60 uniformed men gathered in the corridor.
According to information from the Times, a voice, which would be Arredondo's, is heard saying: "People will wonder why it takes us so long." That is the transcript of the video taken by the camera in the uniform of one of the police officers. "We are trying to preserve the rest of lives," adds that voice.
Investigators are trying to determine if any of those who died could have been spared earlier medical care. There is no doubt that some of the victims were alive and in desperate need of medical attention. A teacher died in the ambulance. Three children died near the hospital, from those documents.
Xavier Lopez, 10, was one of those who died on the way to the hospital. His family assures that he received a blow to the back and lost a lot of blood while waiting for medical attention. His grandfather, Leonard Sandoval, explained that they could have saved his life, but the delay in the police operation caused him to bleed to death.
At some point during that wait, there were those responsible for the operation who realized that there were people inside who urgently needed care. “We know that there are wounded inside,” says that voice that the Times identifies with Arredondo.
Among the revelations in those documents is that Ramos had incorporated a device into his semi-automatic AR-15 that made it function as if it were an automatic weapon, machine gun style. The police chief learned of the identity of the gunman and tried in vain to communicate with him by calling his name through the closed door of the classrooms.
But with two agents who initially approached that access and were shot, Arredondo considered that a quick entry into those premises, without shields and other protections, would be sending the police officers to their deaths. He then focused on evacuating the other children from the school, while awaiting the arrival of the material.
The action of the local agency is now under investigation by the Texas State Police and the US Department of Justice. And, above all, it has become the enemy of the people. There were parents who came to the school during the assault and tried to get in themselves to rescue their children.
After a few hours of bewilderment, the pain was combined with the rage of the police operation. Many neighbors had no problem proclaiming that the policemen had blood on their hands, that they had behaved like cowards and had disrespected their uniform and their oath to help the citizens.