On May 24, 19 students and 2 teachers were murdered after an 18-year-old gunman entered the Uvalde elementary school. According to Lt. Chris Olivarez, the gunman entered a classroom that afternoon and barricaded himself inside, along with children and teachers.
Over the last few months, we’ve heard stories of the survivors, those who were murdered, and questions were raised about how something like this could happen. Now, the actions of the officers who responded to the event are being called into question.
Police Body Cam Footage of Uvalde Shooting Released After Their Actions Are Called Into Question
Nearly two months after the tragedy took place, police body camera footage from seven different Uvalde police officers. As the Austin American-Statesman reports, footage from SWAT commander Eduardo Canales detailed armed officers trailing the shooter as he locked himself inside the classroom.
Warning: The below video is hard to watch and listen to. Discretion is advised.
For the first 52 seconds of the footage, things are eerily quiet. Then shots ring out as someone warns “watch that door! Watch that door!”
The footage captures the sounds of at least four gunshots as police scramble for cover. Canales is heard asking those around him if he’s bleeding?”
Canales was, in fact, bleeding from a wound he sustained to his ear. “We got to get in there,” Canales exclaims as more officers appear at the scene. “Guy’s inside the classroom right now.”
However, it would be more than an hour before a tactical team ever enters the classroom, shooting the gunman dead. More footage shows officers pulling kids from windows and telling them to run.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, who authorized the release of the footage, said he believes the footage “provides further, necessary context.” McLaughlin also noted that the video and audio were edited to protect the victims.
Now, Uvalde parents are calling for the school police chief to be fired. At a July 18 school board meeting, parents called for district police chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo removal while simultaneously asking why will change as the new school year quickly approaches.
“There is an anxiousness in my heart that is only worsened by the fear my children have,” said Rachel Martinez, a parent of four children, admitted, CNN reports. “I think no one person here today can deny there was a massive failure on May 24. Where these failures lie is the question.”
These questions come after a preliminary report outlined a series of failures by law enforcement agencies as they responded to the shooting. The Texas House investigative committee called the response “an overall lackadaisical approach” by authorities on the scene in the 77-page report.
As CNN reports, the investigation labeled the response as a failure to “prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety,” despite 376 first responders being on the scene that day. It also found that Chief Arrendondo failed to assume his “responsibility of incident command.”
“First responders at the scene “lost critical momentum” by treating the situation as a “barricaded subject” scenario instead of an “active shooter” scenario, the report stated. There was no law enforcement on scene when the shooter “came over the fence and toward the school.”
Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo “did not assume his pre-assigned responsibility of incident command,” and other officers on scene didn’t offer assistance with incident command. Arredondo stayed in the hallway where he lacked “reliable communication with other law enforcement and he was unable to effectively implement staging or command and control of the situation.”
Arredondo didn’t have his radios with him, so was unaware of 911 dispatch conversations because of “his failure to establish a reliable method of receiving critical information outside the building.”From The Texas House investigative committee, per CNN
Arredondo is currently suspended.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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