A New York Times report said that approximately 12 students from Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, were still alive an hour before police arrived in their classroom.
According to the report, 33 children and three teachers were in the path of the shooter. Police waited an hour and 17 mins before entering the classrooms. Despite 60 officers already present at the school, this was unacceptable.
Investigators have been working to determine whether any of those who died could have been saved if they had received medical attention sooner, according to an official with knowledge of the effort. But there is no question that some of the victims were still alive and in desperate need of medical attention. One teacher died in an ambulance. Three children died at nearby hospitals, according to the documents.
The documents also reveal that the officers arrived with long guns.
Pete Arredondo is the chief of Uvalde’s school district police and is being questioned about his response to the shooting which claimed 19 lives and injured two teachers.
Arredondo said in an interview with Texas Tribune, that he left behind two radios that caused communication problems between him (other authorities) and them. Arrendondo defended the decision by saying that grabbing radios was a waste of time and that radios might not have worked at the school based on previous experience.
The Tribune explains:
Arredondo made one of the most significant and consequential decisions in his life. He was at the northeast entrance of Robb Elementary at 11.35 AM and left his campus radios, police, and other equipment outside the school.
To Arredondo, the choice was logical. An armed killer was loose on the campus of the elementary school. Every second mattered. He wanted both hands free to hold his gun, ready to aim and fire quickly and accurately if he encountered the gunman.
Arredondo provided the following account during a telephone interview. Arredondo also gave written answers to the questions and explained his lawyer’s reasoning.
He said he didn’t speak up sooner as he didn’t want to cause more grief or blame others.
According to NBC News, the chief is also a councilman in his city. He was elected prior to the shooting. He missed his first meeting earlier this week.