Newly released footage from the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas highlights the confused and disorganized response of law enforcement on the scene and shows UCISD Police Chief Arrendondo trying to negotiate with the shooter from down the hall, while the gunman was firing in a classroom full of children.
An interim report by the Texas House Committee revealed that 376 law enforcement officers were on the scene before anyone attempted to storm the classroom. The shooter, who will not be named per The Daily Wire’s policy of refusing to reward mass shooters with the 15 minutes of fame they so often desire, was left in a fourth grade classroom at Robb Elementary for over an hour and killed 17 students and two teachers, some of whom might have been saved by more timely emergency care, in what state officials have called an example of ‘extremely poor decision making.’
Bodycam footage obtained by CNN shows the response of several officers on the scene from the opening moments of the shooting up to its conclusion, including attempted negotiations with the shooter by Police Chief Peter Arrendondo.
“Let me know if there’s any kids there or anything!” Arrendondo said on tape. “This can be peaceful!”
JUST IN: Exclusive body cam video from the law enforcement response to the Uvalde, TX school shooting. @ShimonPro obtained the video from the city’s Mayor.
It shows just how chaotic the situation was: pic.twitter.com/VppNuJ1d7b
— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) July 17, 2022
The police seemed unaware of key events on the ground, first suspecting that the shooter had gone into an office rather than a classroom, and then being unsure if there were any children in the rooms the shooter occupied – classrooms 111 and 112. Police also spent key moments after the initial confrontation loitering in the hallway, waiting on back up.
Footage shows one officer questioning their inactivity, at one point stating “What are we doing here?”
About 25 minutes after police arrived bodycam footage from a Sgt. Daniel Coronado shows students being evacuated from a nearby window, which may have led some officers to believe the students were out of danger. Later an update from a 9-1-1 dispatcher revealed that students were still inside the classroom, still alive and desperately calling for help.
“We do have a child on the line… he is in a room… full of victims… full of victims at this moment.” And yet 6 minutes went by without any response.
Later we see footage of Arrendondo fiddling with a set of keys, trying to unlock a door to a classroom nearby the one occupied by the shooter, before handing the keys off to another officer who successfully entered the empty room.
After better equipped backup arrived another volley of shots can be heard, but even knowing that there were surviving children inside and outnumbering and outgunning the suspect by a considerable margin, Arrendondo still attempted to negotiate rather than storming the room.
“Sir, if you can hear me, please put your firearm down, sir! We don’t want anyone else hurt!”
For the next 30 minutes, despite even more backup arriving, no action was taken to stop the shooter. The video cuts out moments before police finally break down the door and kill the shooter at 12:51 p.m. local time, almost an hour and twenty minutes after the shooter entered the classroom.
Mounting public outrage has been directed at the Uvalde Police in general and Chief Arrendondo in particular.
“They’re cowards,” Anfulo Reyes, a school teacher who was critically injured during the shooting, said. “They sit there and did nothing for our community. They took a long time to go in. … I will never forgive them.”
Peter Arrendondo was recently elected to the Uvalde City Council but stepped down after intense public backlash.