Uvalde police who delayed entry into school during shooting were waiting for protective gear: Probe

'People are going to ask why we're taking so long,' Police Chief Pete Arredondo said, according to a transcript.

ByAaron Katersky and Josh Margolin ABCNews logo
Friday, June 10, 2022
New details on why Uvalde police delayed entry during school shooting
Sources tell ABC News that, in a preliminary assessment, state investigators believe that Uvalde officers delayed entry into Robb Elementary School because they were waiting for protective gear to arrive.

UVALDE, Texas -- According to a preliminary assessment of the Robb Elementary School shooting, state investigators believe the decision to delay police entry into the classroom was made in order to allow time for protective gear to arrive on scene, an official briefed on a closed-door presentation by the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety tells ABC News.

Waiting for protective gear contradicts active shooter protocols that have been adopted by law enforcement agencies across the country over the last 20 years.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steven McCraw met Thursday with Texas lawmakers in a lengthy closed-door session at the state capitol in Austin, during which he briefed them on his agency's ongoing review of the massacre that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

WATCH: How law enforcement narrative of Uvalde mass shooting changed

Authorities in Texas have come under scrutiny for the shifting narrative about crucial elements of the police response, ABC News reports.

The DPS information is based, in part, on transcripts from 911 calls, dispatch audio, and body camera recordings, sources said. The review is ongoing and the DPS preliminary findings have not been made public.

A source confirmed to ABC News that the incident commander, Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, appeared to be aware that police needed to move faster as shots were being fired in two classrooms.

MORE: Teacher who survived Uvalde shooting calls police 'cowards,' says he will 'never forgive them'

Fourth-grade teacher Arnulfo Reyes was wounded but survived the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. He shared his story with ABC News.

"People are going to ask why we're taking so long," according to one of the transcripts, as relayed by the official to ABC News. The statement is believed by investigators to have been uttered by Arredondo during the 77-minute attack.

The New York Times first reported the quote and the details of the DPS information.

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Actor Matthew McConaughey delivered impassioned remarks on gun control at the White House press briefing, in light of the Uvalde, Texas, massacre.

Chief Arredondo arrived at Robb Elementary School without his radio, according to an official briefed on the investigation. Investigators still do not know whether or if he used a radio borrowed from one of the other officers on scene.

Investigators have also uncovered social media posts that suggested the shooter had been planning to acquire guns for the purposes of an attack and suggested he might not survive, the official said.

SEE ALSO: Mass shootings in the U.S. have nearly tripled since 2013, data shows

The number of people injured or killed does not include the suspect or perpetrator. These graphics show the number of victims across all mass shootings from the last five years.