‘Tell Them To F***ing Wait’: Radio Logs Show Uvalde School Police Chief Hesitating At Crucial Moment

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo reportedly ordered officers to wait outside of the Robb Elementary School classroom where the gunman was located.

Radio conversations appeared to show the timeline of the police response to the shooting that killed 19 children and 2 adults. Authorities arrived at the building at 11:35 a.m., two minutes after the 18-year-old gunman, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw previously said.

Arredondo was located inside the building with other officers while the gunman breached the classroom, CNN Crime and Justice correspondent Shimon Prokupecz reported.

“Chief is in there, chief is in charge right now hold on,” an officer said at 11:50, according to Prokupecz.

“Chief is making contact with him (the gunman). No one has made contact with him,” an officer said.

“The school chief of police is in there with him (the gunman),” an officer said at 11:58, Prokupecz reported.

At 12:03, the first student called 911 telling the emergency line that she was in room 112. Afterward, a series of 911 calls were repeatedly made.

At 12:11, Arredondo requested a master key to enter the classroom, according to radio segments reported by Prokupecz. Three minutes later, he ordered officers to have a sniper on the east roof. (RELATED: ‘How Do You Explain Yourself To The Parents?’: Reporter Confronts Uvalde School District Police Chief Over Law Enforcement’s Delayed Action)

“I just need a key,” he said at 12:16. At this exact time, one child told the emergency line that eight or nine children were still alive and pleaded for the police to arrive.

“Tell them to fucking wait. No one comes in,” Arredondo said a minute later. He asked for a breaching tool at 12:21, Prokupecz reported.

The school district police chief reportedly ordered the officers not to shoot in order to protect more kids from getting shot.

“We’ve lost two kids,” he said at 12:23. “These walls are thin. If he starts shooting we’re going to lose more kids. I hate to say we have to put those to the side right now.”

“People are going to ask why we’re taking so long,” he said at 12:27, according to Prokupecz. “We’re trying to preserve the rest of the life. … Do we have a team ready to go? Have at it.”

Arredondo reportedly assumed the door was locked and attempted to use master keys to open the door. The San Antonio Express-News reported Saturday that the police never attempted to unlock the door, possibly because they thought the doors locked automatically. Due to a malfunction, the door may have actually been open, according to the outlet.

“These master keys aren’t working here bro. We have master keys and they’re not working,” he said.

Democratic Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez said Arredondo had no knowledge of the 911 calls made by the students at the time since the emergency line operators reportedly kept directing the calls to the city police. At 12:50, a specialized Border Patrol Tactical Unit arrived to the building, entered the room and fatally shot the suspected gunman.

The school district’s superintendent, Dr. Hal Harrell, placed Arredondo on administrative leave Wednesday after the police chief received backlash from the public over his response. The police response is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice.