The Uvalde police chief admitted he chose to leave the kids trapped with the gunman, even after hearing “a lot” of shots.
The Texas police chief blamed for the disastrous response to the Uvalde school shooting admitted making the “horrible” call not to rescue kids trapped with the gunman — even after hearing “a lot” of shots and the killer reloading.Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, who was later fired as Uvalde schools’ top cop, made the astonishing admission in his only briefing with investigators — a day after 19 kids and two teachers were slaughtered at Robb Elementary.
He smiled and made jokes during the nearly one-hour interview obtained by CNN, defending his decision to evacuate the rest of the school rather than those trapped with 18-year-old mass shooter Salvador Ramos.
He detailed being one of the first to arrive at the school, hearing too many gunshots to count.
CNN obtained the video of since-fired Uvalde schools police chief Pedro Arredondo speaking to investigators a day after 21 were killed.
“When I opened the [school] door, I saw the smoke,” he recalled, saying “shots started firing” again as he and a colleague started nearing the classroom where Ramos was holed up with kids and teachers.
“Obviously, I backed off and started taking cover,” the lead officer said, which CNN noted was in clear defiance of training that insists officers risk their own lives to “neutralize” active shooters.
He backed off even after hearing gunman Salvador Ramos shooting and reloading his weapon.”I know there’s probably victims in there and with the shots I heard, I know there’s probably somebody who’s going to be deceased,” he acknowledged of the room he backed away from.
But he felt the “priority” was the “preservation of life” of those not under the “immediate threat.”
Like himself, for example.
“Once I realized that was going on, my first thought is that we need to vacate” the rest of the school, he said, telling arriving officers that “we’re taking [other] kids out first.””I know this is horrible,” he said — claiming it was what “our training tells us to do,” seemingly contradicting the actual guidance.
Focusing on evacuating the children who were in no danger whatsoever just happened to also keep Arredondo and the other filthy cowards who gladly followed him out of danger as well.
But I’m sure that’s just one of those coincidences. I’m sure that never, ever occurred to them.