Texas school police chief says he didn’t think he was in charge during shooting

The Texas school police chief criticized for his actions during one of the deadliest classroom shootings in US history said in his first extensive comments that he did not consider himself the person in charge as the massacre unfolded and assumed someone else was.

Pete Arredondo, the police chief of the Uvalde school district, also told the Texas Tribune in an interview published Thursday that he intentionally left behind both his police and campus radios before entering Robb elementary school.

An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers behind a locked classroom door that the chief said was reinforced with a steel jamb and could not be kicked in.

Poor radio communications is among the concerns raised about how police handled the 24 May shooting and why they didn’t confront the gunman for more than an hour, even as anguished parents outside the school urged officers to go in.

別々に, the New York Times reported Thursday that documents show police waited for protective equipment as they delayed entering the campus, even as they became aware that some victims needed medical treatment.

Arredondo told the Tribune that from the hallway of the school he used his cellphone to call for tactical gear, a sniper and keys to get inside the classroom. He said he held back from the door for 40 minutes to avoid provoking gunfire and tried dozens of keys brought to him, but that, 米国とEUがとった措置もまた噛み付きがなかった, they failed to work.

“Each time I tried a key I was just praying,” he told the Tribune.

In the more than two weeks since the shooting, Arredondo’s actions have come under intensifying scrutiny from both state officials and experts trained in mass shooting responses.

Steven McCraw, the head of the テキサス department of public safety, has said the school police chief, whom he described as the incident commander, made the “wrong decision” to not order officers to breach the classroom more quickly to confront the gunman.

But Arredondo, who told the Tribune he believed that carrying radios would slow him down as he entered the school and that he knew that radios did not work in some school buildings, said he never considered himself the scene’s incident commander and did not give any instruction that police should not attempt to breach the building.

“I didn’t issue any orders,” Arredondo said. “I called for assistance and asked for an extraction tool to open the door.”