The calls, received by Uvalde City Police, “were not forwarded to the on-scene commander, Constable (Pete) Arredondo,” who is the school district’s police chief, the Democrat said. Roland Gutierrez, who sits in the Texas State Senate, at a press conference.
It is “a system failure”, he denounced, explaining that he did not know who, exactly, was aware of these communications.
Police action has been at the heart of criticism since the May 24 shooting at Robb Primary School. Nineteen children and two teachers fell under the bullets of Salvador Ramos, barely 18 years old, making it one of the worst massacres in recent years in the United States.
The 19 officers who were in a corridor of the school had waited for nearly three-quarters of an hour as the shooter took refuge in a room with students, before an elite unit entered eventually and kills him.
In total, the police took about an hour to intervene.
This came after several calls had been made by schoolchildren and teachers in the affected classrooms, including one from a child pleading: “Please send the police now.”
Last week, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw claimed officers failed to intervene sooner because they believed “there may be no survivors left” — without explaining who was aware of these cries for help coming from inside the school.
“We need to know what the police were doing” and what procedures were followed, or not, insisted Roland Gutierrez Thursday.
“We have all failed. There have been a lot of failures,” concluded this senator, a supporter of a stricter framework for firearms.
The US Department of Justice announced on Sunday that it would review the police response to the killings and issue a report.