Texas school shooting: Uvalde school district chief did not have police radio on scene, report says

UVALDE, Texas — A source close to the investigation into the massacre at Robb Elementary told The New York Times that the chief of the school district’s police force had no police radio with him while he was managing the scene.

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Chief Pete Arredondo was one of the first police officers to arrive at Robb Elementary on May 24, and took charge as gunfire could still be heard, The New York Times reported. But the law enforcement official who told the New York Times that Arredondo failed to have a radio with him said that not having the device may have hampered his ability to communicate with emergency dispatchers.

In a news conference Thursday, Sen. Roland Gutierrez blamed a “system failure” on the fact that none of the 911 calls or pleas for help from people inside the school reached Arredondo, The Associated Press reported.

The May 24 shooting inside Robb Elementary killed 19 students and two teachers.

Gutierrez said in the news conference that no single person or entity was to blame, but did not mention the missing radio. Gutierrez said the 911 calls were instead relayed to the Uvalde Police Department, which works independently from the school district’s police department.

“There is blame enough to go around. There was human error and there was system error,” Gutierrez said in the news conference, The Texas Tribune reported.

Arredondo has come under fire for holding back law enforcement for more than an hour before federal agents went into the school and killed the gunman.