A review of new documents and video footage by the New York Times indicates over a dozen children were still alive in a classroom during the Uvalde school shooting for over an hour while local police officers were waiting for ‘protective equipment.’
An investigation into the police response during the massacre at Robb Elementary school has been ongoing, with reports indicating officers waited outside the classroom and school for over an hour.
By the time specialized border agents ignored orders to hold back and breached the classroom, 19 children and two teachers had been killed.
The new evidence reviewed by the Times reveals that “more than a dozen students remained alive for over an hour before officers entered their classrooms.”
“Heavily armed officers delayed confronting a gunman in Uvalde, Texas, for more than an hour even though supervisors at the scene had been told that some trapped with him in two elementary school classrooms needed medical treatment,” they write.
Breaking News: Heavily armed Uvalde officers waited an hour to confront the gunman, even as on-scene supervisors were told wounded students were trapped, in part because a commander feared for officers’ safety, documents seen by The New York Times show. https://t.co/9Fer3IYNS6
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 9, 2022
Over a Dozen Children Were Still Alive in Uvalde Classroom
The New York Times report is simply infuriating. How many lives could have been saved if the police officers had been advised properly by their police chief, Pete Arredondo, to take the gunman out immediately?
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Arredondo reportedly made the call to hold back police officers arriving on the scene of the shooting because he believed the situation had shifted from an active shooter scenario to a barricaded subject scenario.
“Arredondo and others at the scene became aware that not everyone inside the classrooms was already dead,” the report states, adding that a teacher had actually spoken to the Chief and told him she was shot.
Uvalde Cops KNEW Children Were Alive With Gunman, Waited an Hour For ‘Protective Equipment’ https://t.co/pCrzJxTPZb
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) June 9, 2022
“More than a dozen of the 33 children and three teachers originally in the two classrooms remained alive during the 1 hour and 17 minutes from the time the shooting began inside the classrooms to when four officers made entry,” the New York Times reveals.
“By that time, 60 officers had assembled on scene,” they add.
Why didn’t they disobey the supervisor and get in there?!https://t.co/wZ3L9rA0am
— Adam Baldwin (@AdamBaldwin) June 9, 2022
Waited for Protective Equipment
The new documents and footage appear to indicate the tragically slow police response directly contributed to a higher death toll from the horrific shooting.
One victim, a young girl, died at the hospital after bleeding for an hour after she was shot. That shocking report led to MSNBC’s Katy Tur muttering “Jesus” as she heard the news.
“Every parent who had a child in that room will wonder about that hour or so.” As Texas DPS gives information on the ongoing Robb Elementary shooting investigation, @KerryNBC talks to @KatyTurNBC about the blurry timeline of events and what key facts are still missing. pic.twitter.com/lfxlSpCVy6
— Katy Tur Reports (@KatyOnMSNBC) May 26, 2022
“There is no question that some of the victims were still alive and in desperate need of medical attention,” according to the NYT.
The latest update indicates a teacher died in an ambulance while three children were pronounced dead at local hospitals.
The New York Times report also exposes why Arredondo wanted police officers to wait before going into the classroom.
“People are going to ask why we’re taking so long,” a voice investigators believe to be the Chief says on the bodycam footage.
Gut-wrenching reporting here.
NYT reporting police knew kids were wounded in Uvalde and still waited. https://t.co/pzX71xH1FT
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) June 9, 2022
Arredondo, it seems, advised the heavily armed officers on the scene to wait “for protective equipment to lower the risk to law enforcement officers.”
The Times writes that he was “agonizing over the length of time it was taking to secure the shields that would help protect officers when they entered and to find a key for the classroom doors.”
Two weeks ago, The Political Insider reported on Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Lt. Chris Olivarez explaining to CNN that police officers responding to the shooting were held back because “they could have been shot.”
Which seems to be a part of the job description one recognizes prior to wearing any form of badge.
Wolf Blitzer: “Don’t current best practices, call for officers to disable a shooter as quickly as possible, regardless of how many officers are actually on site?”
DPS Lt. Chris Olivarez: “They could’ve been shot.”
— The Jewish Ginger Resister (@JewishResister) May 27, 2022
Videos posted online apparently showed police officers fighting with parents who were begging them to go in and stop the shooter.
One such video appears to show the scene with people yelling and screaming as police push them away from the perimeter. Some may have been pepper-sprayed and/or tackled to the ground.
— Matt Novak (@paleofuture) May 26, 2022
One hero mom, Angeli Rose Gomez, drove 40 miles from her job as a farm worker to reach the school after learning of the shooting, was handcuffed after complaining about the police response, managed to get released, then ran into the building to save her children.
It’s worth repeating. A mom drove there. Got handcuffed. Got out of handcuffs. Hopped a fence. Went inside the school and walked out with her two kids. All while 19 officers waited outside the classroom where the gunman was. #UvaldePolice #Uvalde
— Jessica McMaster (@JessMcMasterKC) May 27, 2022
By contrast, Olivarez seemingly indicated some of the police officers on the scene went in to rescue their own kids.
“What we do know … right now, that there was some police officers, families trying to get their children out of school because it was a active shooter situation right now,” he told a local reporter.
What? They didn’t wait for the protective equipment for their own kids?
It’s not super explicit but this does sound like Texas DPS spokesman Lt. Chris Olivarez confirming that cops entered the school to save their own children during the shooting while police were holding back families and refusing to go in outside. https://t.co/YNRZ1ObxwA
— Evan Hill (@evanhill) May 26, 2022
The New York Times report brings up even more questions in an investigation fraught with confusion.
It calls into question previous assertions by state Senator Roland Gutierrez (D), who initially claimed Arredondo didn’t know about the 911 calls indicating children were still alive in the Uvalde school.
“Even with additional documents and video, much about the chaotic scene remained unclear, including precisely when Chief Arredondo and other senior officers became aware of injuries inside the classrooms,” the Times adds.
A voice, again believed by investigators to be Arredondo said, “We think there are some injuries in there,” several minutes before the classroom was finally breached.
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