Stunning new body cam footage reveals Uvalde school district Police Chief Pete Arredondo repeatedly begged from outside the Robb Elementary School classroom for 18-year-old Salvador Ramos to put down his weapon, even as the gunman continued to fire.
“This could be peaceful,” Arredondo can be heard saying, and “please put your firearm down.”
More shots then rang out.
“Can you hear me, sir?” Arredondo asked. “Sir, if you can hear me, please put your firearm down, sir. We don’t want anybody else hurt.”
If Ramos heard Arredondo’s pleas, he never once acknowledged them.
WARNING: This is graphic video and is difficult to watch:
JUST IN: Exclusive body cam video from the law enforcement response to the Uvalde, TX school shooting. @ShimonPro obtained the video from the city's Mayor.
It shows just how chaotic the situation was: pic.twitter.com/VppNuJ1d7b
— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) July 17, 2022
Initially, it appears Arredondo did not realize Ramos had barricaded himself in the fourth-grade classroom along with students.
“Let me know if there’s any kids in there or anything,” he urged Ramos. “This could be peaceful.”
With no response given, the negotiator attempted to connect on some level with the shooter.
“Can you tell me your name?” he asked. “Anything that can help, please?”
Again, Arredondo was met with silence.
Six minutes later, the school police chief tried and fails to open a nearby classroom door with a set of keys.
Arredondo handed the keys off to another officer who apparently did nothing with them as additional, heavily armored officers arrived on the scene and stood around.
When another round of shots rang out, Arredondo again politely asked Ramos to please stop.
“Can you hear me sir?” he asked, as seen in the body cam footage. “Sir, if you can hear me, please put your firearm down, sir. We don’t want anybody else hurt.”
“I know, I know,” a voice could be heard spoken from an unidentified witness to the horror. Another officer stated, “That’s what we’re doing. We’re trying to get him out.”
It would be another agonizing 30 minutes before any armed officer entered the classroom.
The disturbing body cam footage was released by Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin on Sunday, following an 82-minute video of the mass shooting that was posted online by KVUE and Austin American Statesman, according to the Daily Mail.
WARNING: GRAPHIC, DISTURBING
(Video: Daily Mail)
The video picks up at approximately 12:04 p.m. with Officer Gazaway entering the building. Already present are several armed officers.
“He’s in the classroom!” an officer states.
Shots echo through the school.
For several minutes, Gazaway paces up and down the hall, looking desperate for direction.
There’s no sound in this portion of the video, but sergeants can be seen pointing and communicating with other officers.
At 12.19, more officers are gathered.
A ballistic vest worn by one of the men identifies him as “Sheriff.”
At 12.21, officers race toward classrooms 111 and 112, where Ramos is killing children.
At the end of the video, it is Border Patrol agents who finally breach the classroom and fatally shoot Ramos.
Parents and community members, furious over what appears to be prolonged inaction by armed officers inside the school, have called for Arredondo’s termination.
Last month, the school police chief was placed on administrative leave.
According to a 77-page report released by the Texas House of Representatives, state and federal police are largely to blame for the massacre that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
“The void of leadership could have contributed to the loss of life as injured victims waited over an hour for help, and the attacker continued to sporadically fire his weapon,” the report reads.
“There was an overall lackadaisical approach by law enforcement at the scene,” it continued. “For many, that was because they were given and relied upon inaccurate information. For others, they had enough information to know better.”
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