A phone call recording between Uvalde’s acting sheriff and a dispatcher shows lengthy delays.
A police commander on site in May school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, delayed action for 30 minutes after hearing that children were trapped in a classroom with the gunman.
The tape obtained by CNN and released Monday traces a call between the emergency dispatcher and acting police chief Mariano Pargas, according to the Associated Press news agency.
A 10-year-old girl called 911 from the next room, begging for help. A dispatcher then passed the information she provided to Pargas.
“So how many are still alive?” Pargas asked in the recording. “Eight to nine people are still alive,” replied the dispatcher, referring to the estimate provided by the 10-year-old. “She’s not so sure.”
Pargas ended the call with “OK, OK, thanks.” It would take another 30 minutes before law enforcement breached the room.
Recorded emphasis prolonged delay occurred when one of the deadliest school shootings in American history took place inside Robb Elementary School. Nineteen children and two teachers were killed.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers gathered at the school, some within minutes of the attacker entering the building. But 70 minutes passed before the gunman was confronted and killed, even though officials knew children were still in danger.
Feedback has become the subject of outrage, as families and community members demand accountability.
Pargas was placed on administrative leave in July after a harsh report found “systemic” failures in law enforcement’s response. School District Sheriff Pete Arredondo has been fired.
Body-mounted camera footage at 12:11 p.m. showed officers in the hallway outside the classroom receiving information that a Border Patrol tactical team was 30 minutes away.
One moderator can be heard saying a child is calling from within the classroom, describing a “room full of victims”. That information was passed on to Pargas, who made no explicit comment on the footage.
According to CNN, Pargas spoke to a dispatcher at 12:16 pm. It wasn’t until 12:50 p.m. that officers entered the room and killed the gunman.