11 officers responded to Uvalde shooting within 3 minutes, source says, as new reports reveal how authorities then waited to engage
A review of surveillance footage and transcripts of radio traffic and phone calls by the Tribune — which says details were confirmed by a senior official at the state’s DPS — put the gunman shooting inside classroom 111, briefly walking out the door, then reentering and opening fire.
Within moments of the gunfire burst, 11 officers arrived on the scene, according to the Tribune report and confirmed by the law enforcement source to CNN.
Arredondo called the Uvalde Police Department’s dispatch by phone shortly after the gunman fired at officers, according to the source, requesting further assistance and saying he did not have his radio on him.
Citing a transcript, the Tribune notes that “by the time Arredondo called dispatch, at least 11 officers had entered the school and at least two are seen in the video carrying rifles. But Arredondo told the dispatcher that he didn’t have the firepower to confront the lone gunman.”
One security footage image obtained by the Austin American-Statesman shows at least three officers in the hallway — two of whom have rifles and one officer who appears to have a tactical shield — at 11:52 a.m., 19 minutes after the gunman entered the school.
“If there’s kids in there, we need to go in there,” one officer said, according to the American-Statesman. Another officer responded, “Whoever is in charge will determine that.”
Officers had access to four ballistic shields inside the school, the Tribune said citing a law enforcement transcript, the fourth of which arrived 30 minutes before officers stormed the classrooms.
In the first minutes of their response, an officer also said a Halligan, a firefighting tool that is used for forcible entry, was on scene, according to the Tribune. However, the tool wasn’t brought into the school until an hour after officers arrived and was never used, the Tribune said.
Toward the end of the standoff, according to the law enforcement source, Arredondo wondered aloud whether officers would consider “popping him through the window.” A body camera transcript showed Arredondo indicating to other officers at 12:46 p.m. that if a SWAT response team was ready, they should breach the door, an action that came four minutes later.
CNN has reached out to both Arredondo’s attorney, George Hyde, and the Uvalde Police Department regarding the reports.
McCraw is due to describe evidence taken from surveillance video inside the school, and will also bring a physical door from Robb Elementary to demonstrate its locking mechanism, according to the law enforcement source close to the investigation.
CNN’s Rosalina Nieves and Dave Alsup contributed to this report.
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