Uvalde school police chief said cops had 'contained' shooter and didn't need to prioritize disarming him
Uvalde law enforcement officers (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA for AFP)

On Tuesday, CNN reported on newly released comments by Uvalde school police chief Pete Arredondo to investigators of the law enforcement response to the massacre at Robb Elementary School last year, in which he said that he was more concerned with children in other classrooms than with sending in officers to actually stop the gunman barricaded in one of the classrooms with several children.

"An interview with investigators the day after the May 2022 massacre at Robb Elementary shows Arredondo talking bluntly about his recollection of events. CNN obtained a video recording of the previously unreported interview, where some of Arredondo’s answers conflict with his limited public statements," reported Shimon Prokupecz, Matthew J. Friedman, and Rachel Clarke. "It was the only meeting about his role that he had with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). He stopped cooperating with the DPS inquiry after its director labeled him as incident commander and blamed him for decisions that left dead, dying and traumatized children with a gunman for over an hour while officers waited in the hallway outside."

According to the report, Arredondo told investigators, “Once I realized that was going on, my first thought is that we need to vacate. We have him contained – and I know this is horrible and I know it’s [what] our training tells us to do but – we have him contained, there’s probably going to be some deceased in there, but we don’t need any more from out here.”

Arredondo, who was placed on leave following the controversy, is not the only law enforcement official in the South Texas community under scrutiny for their actions surrounding the school massacre. Uvalde County Sheriff Ruben Nalasco also stirred controversy when, faced with questions about his own department's response, accused reporters of obsessing over the shooting for the "ratings."

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The Uvalde massacre prompted nationwide horror, and sparked national lawmakers to pass the first bipartisan federal gun bill in 30 years. It has also prompted a series of investigations by state officials in Texas, which has shined a further spotlight on the response by law enforcement on that day.