Police chief didn’t have a radio during Texas school shooting, says senator

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The state agency investigating the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde has determined that the commander criticized for the slow police response was not carrying a radio at the time of the massacre, a senator from the state of Texas.

Sen. Roland Gutierrez told The Associated Press in a brief phone interview that a Texas Department of Public Safety official told him that School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo did not have a radio. in the May 24 attack by a lone gunman that left 19 students and two teachers dead. . Seventeen other people were injured.

Authorities did not say how other law enforcement officials communicated with Arredondo at the scene. Arredondo heads the small district department and was responsible for the multi-agency response to the shooting.

Arredondo has not responded to multiple interview requests from the AP since the attack, including a phone message left Friday with school district police.

The focus shifted to the chief in recent days after Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Arredondo believed the active shooting had escalated into a hostage situation and that he had made the wrong decision of not ordering the officers to breach the class faster to confront the shooter.

Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde, complained Thursday that Arredondo had not been notified of panicked 911 calls from students trapped in a classroom where the gunman had locked himself. The Democrat called it a failure of the system.

Police radios are a crucial source of real-time communication during an emergency and, experts say, often explain how information from 911 calls is transmitted to officers in the field. It is unclear who at the scene was aware of the calls. Uvalde police did not respond to questions about the calls on Thursday.

The Department of Public Safety on Friday referred all questions about the shooting investigation to Uvalde Area District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee, who did not immediately return phone and text messages requesting information. comments.

Uvalde shooter Salvador Ramos, 18, spent about 80 minutes inside the school, and more than an hour passed from when first officers followed him into the building and when he was killed by law enforcement, according to an official. chronology.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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