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Allahpundit went through the latest timeline of the Uvalde school shooting police response debacle last night, so read that first if you haven’t already. And yes, it’s every bit as awful and infuriating as you probably imagined. However, there was one additional detail we hadn’t heard previously that Chief Pete Arredondo offered yesterday during an interview with the Texas Tribune. So why did it take 77 minutes before a law enforcement officer entered the classroom where the shooter was killing off students and teachers? According to Arredondo in the most recent version of the tale, nobody could find a key to the classroom door. He claimed that it took forty minutes to find “a set of keys” and then he had to try them all one at a time until identifying one that would unlock the classroom door. The number of things wrong with this story is staggering, including the major events that directly conflict with the reports from the Department of Public Safety. (NY Post)
A hard-to-find key to a locked classroom door was the ultimate reason police waited 77 minutes to enter a Robb Elementary classroom to kill a gunman, stopping the massacre that claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers, the under-fire police chief said.
Uvalde school district police Chief Pete Arredondo, who was in charge during the May 24 mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, offered up the explanation in a new interview with the Texas Tribune where he defended law enforcement’s delayed response in taking down 18-year-old shooter Salvador Ramos…
“Each time I tried a key I was just praying,” Arredondo told the Texas Tribune. “The only thing that was important to me at this time was to save as many teachers and children as possible.”
In this latest version of the story, Arredondo was kneeling outside the classroom trying one key after another to unlock the door. But in the original story, the police were waiting outside when a Border Patrol officer rushed in and shot the gunman. Did the Border Patrol officer have to kick Arredondo out of the way before breaching the classroom and taking out the monster? And if the door was such a formidable barrier that it was thwarting the police chief, how did the CBP agent open it without a key?
Review the chief’s latest timeline and ask yourself if any of this makes any sense. The shooter only had one pair of classrooms locked up. The school was full of other teachers, administrators, and, presumably, janitors. Nobody could find a keyring for forty minutes? And even when one was located, nobody could identify which key matched which door?
If no key was immediately available, why didn’t the cops just break into the room? Arredondo is saying that the door “had a steel jamb and could not be kicked in.” Even if it has a steel jamb, police have to break in doors all the time as part of their job. That’s because many criminals rudely refuse to unlock and open their doors when officers arrive to arrest them. The cops should have had a battering ram on the scene in moments.
Even if we pretend for the moment that the impregnable door was impossible to defeat, the classroom had windows facing outdoors. All of the classrooms did. In fact, some of the other classrooms were evacuated by breaking out the windows and lifting the children out through them. Why didn’t Arredondo order his officers to break the windows of the classroom where the shooter was located and take a shot at him from outside?
Here’s another question from the established timeline that could involve the magical door in question. The teacher who propped open the door to the parking lot with a rock had already entered the school and reportedly begun warning people that a shooter was approaching. Why wasn’t the door to the two classrooms where the shooter ended up already locked? If it was able to stop the police that easily, surely it would have stopped the shooter from entering as well.
This tale that Arredondo told the Tribune contains some huge reversals and contradictions. Too many witnesses have described the police standing around outside the school for at least forty minutes. But now the chief is saying that he was trying to enter the classroom and stop the shooter from the moment he arrived but was thwarted by a lack of keys. It just seems obvious that he knows precisely how bad this looks for him and the national attention being drawn to his failure to respond to an active shooter situation as standard training would suggest is making matters worse. He’s trying to shift the blame for the deaths of all those students and teachers and make himself out as a would-be hero who was tragically thwarted by logistics. And I’m not buying it for a minute.