Texas

That’s why Pete Arredondo, head of CISD Uvalde, said he didn’t try to stop the shooter who shot out of Robb’s elementary school.

“I know that there were probably victims. And from the shots I’ve heard, I know it’s probably someone who’s going to die,” Arredondo said during an interview.

UVALDE, Texas — CNN has received a new video showing an interview former Uvalde Unified Independent School District police chief Pete Arredondo gave to FBI and Texas Rangers investigators the morning after a gunman killed 21 students and a teacher at Robb Elementary School.

WATCH: PEET ARREDONDO’S ONLY INTERVIEW WITH INTERVIEWERS BEFORE HE CUT OFF

“I know that there were probably victims. And from the shots I’ve heard, I know it’s probably someone who’s going to die,” Arredondo said during an interview.

The interview was seen and heard for the first time. This happened on May 25, the day after the massacre. Arredondo can be heard trying to explain his actions.

He told investigators that he assumed the students in the room with the shooter were already dead, so he decided to focus on kicking the students out of nearby classrooms. Now we know he was wrong. At least three victims were pulled out of the room alive and later died from their injuries.

“My first thought is that we must, we must free ourselves. We keep him contained and I know it’s terrible, I know what our training tells us to do, but we keep him contained. there, but we don’t need anything else from here. So I called and said, “Get these kids out,” whatever I told them, “break those windows, get them out,” Arredondo said. investigators.

Arredondo said he kept trying to talk to the shooter. He also told investigators that he heard the shooter reload his weapon while he was holed up in class.

“During this deal, I tried to contact him, contact him, asked him not to harm anyone,” Arredondo said during an interview.

Even after hearing the gunner’s reload, Arredondo took no action to stop him.

“I’m sure I heard him reload. I heard something over the pin. You obviously all know what that sounds like…or not a pin, sorry, with a clip. I’m guessing he reloaded, but I know he did something to him. I actually heard it once. I don’t know if it was the second time. He didn’t answer at all,” Arredondo said.

Arredondo, now considered one of the biggest law enforcement missteps in recent memory, admitted less than 24 hours after the incident that he knew there would be criticism.

“We will be thoroughly checked. I expect it. We will be thoroughly checked. Why didn’t we even go there,” Arredondo told investigators.

Days after the incident, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced that Arredondo was the “incident commander” and was in charge of the scene. They blamed him for the delay, which turned out to be fatal.

“The Chief of Police of the Unified Independent School District is the commander of the incident. This is his school. He’s the chief of police,” Texas DPS director Steve McCraw said at the time.

Arredondo ran a six-man police force before he was fired in August. He declined to comment on the story, according to CNN. Through his lawyer, Arredondo had previously denied he was ever in charge and said he never gave any orders.

Issuance of orders

CNN’s analysis of previously unreleased camera footage and recently received phone calls found that Arredondo repeatedly ordered officers around him not to enter the room with the shooter.

“Hi, this is Arredondo… This is an emergency. I’m inside the building with this man. He has an AR-15. He shot a whole bunch of times. He is in the same room. I need a lot of firepower, so I need to surround this building, I need to surround it with as many AR-15s as possible,” Arredondo said at 11:40 a.m., seven minutes into the shooting.

As other officers with body cameras arrived on the scene, Arredondo could be heard talking to the shooter.

Arredondo was seen trying to open the door to an adjacent classroom while giving commands to other officers.

“We’re going to get out of here before we break through. We’re going to clean up these kids’ classroom,” he said. “Once they’ve cleared this room, I’m going to check what’s freed up guys before we start breaking into the area. Time is now on our side. I know we probably have kids there, but we have to save the lives of the rest.”

As it turns out, time was not on his side and reflects a mindset that is in direct conflict with active shooter training. The policy emphasizes speed and directs any officer to immediately follow the sound of gunfire and stop the shooter. Arredondo last trained in December 2021, five months before the Uvalda massacre.

At about 12:12 an important transmission was received on the walkie-talkie in the corridor from the dispatcher Uvalde. Officers were told that a child who was in the room with the shooter called 911 and said she was surrounded by casualties.

“The child reported being in a room full of victims,” the dispatcher said.

The dispatch blared within earshot of Arredondo, but he did not seem to hear it as he repeated instructions to the officers not to enter the room.

“Hey guys, hold on. We’ll clear the building first, and then we’ll deal with tactical actions, but first we’ll empty these classrooms,” Arredondo told the officers in the hallway.

The officers told Arredondo that the classrooms were empty and effectively turned off their radios to listen to Arredondo’s orders. It seemed obvious to the men on the other side of the corridor that Arredondo was in charge.

“No entry until the chief of police gives you permission,” one of the officers said.

When a nearby officer suggested that the border patrol was about to enter, Arredondo gave another order.

“Tell them hell, wait,” he said.

Arredondo later said that he assumed the Border Patrol agents at the other end of the corridor would break through, as they had rifles, while he and his men only had pistols.

“So I know it’s BP and I know it’s probably BORTAC, the smart thing to do for us is obviously with a gun, we should let those guys in when the time is right,” Arredondo said.

The fact is that they were armed not only with pistols. Body camera footage clearly shows that a large number of heavily armed officers were at the scene, some within minutes of the shooting.

Was the door locked?

During an interview the morning after the massacre, Arredondo explained why he thought the door was locked and also admitted that he never tried to open it.

“I have a picture in my head that I saw … that I saw this hammer there. And usually when he’s in there, he’s locked up, man, 90% of the time,” he told investigators.

We now know that investigators believe the door was unlocked the whole time and there was no need to wait for the key.

At the end of the interview, Arredondo said that instead of breaking the door, he even considered trying to shoot through the walls to kill the shooter.

“The idea came to me to start shooting through this wall, which would be stupid. But you, you start to think that someone has already died there … But you know, obviously, we, we never train to shoot through walls. It’s not that … it’s probably not the smartest idea, but, you know, you always ask yourself questions,” he said.

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