School police chief not told of 911 calls, Texas state senator says

Southwest

(NewsNation) —  A Texas state senator said the commander at the scene of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, was not informed of panicked 911 calls from inside the school building. 

Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez said during a news conference Thursday the pleas for help in an attack that left 19 students and two teachers dead as police waited outside did not make their way to school district police Chief Pete Arredondo. 

The Democratic senator called it a “system failure” that calls were going to the city police but were not communicated to Arredondo.

“I want to know specifically who was receiving the 911 calls,” Gutierrez said during a news conference, adding that no single person or entity was fully to blame for the massacre.

“There was error at every level, including the legislative level,” Gutierrez said.

Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said last week that police didn’t breach the classroom where the gunman was holed up faster because Arredondo believed the situation had morphed from an active shooting to a hostage situation.

As questions remain on what was communicated to the commander at the scene, at least one of the officers had information from inside the classroom, according to a report from the New York Times.

44-year-old teacher Eva Mireles, who was killed in the attack, spoke with her husband, a police officer, over the phone in her final moments, according to the report.

The mayor of Uvalde, Texas, disclosed new information about the desperate attempts made to negotiate with the gunman.

Mayor Don McLaughlin told The Washington Post in an interview that a negotiator who was at a funeral home across from the school tried to contact the 18-year-old suspect.

McLaughlin said the negotiator tried every number he could find, including the shooter’s cellphone, but the gunman never picked up.

“His main goal was to try to get this person on the phone,” McLaughlin said. “They tried every number they could find,” adding that the person was unsuccessful.

As the community mourns the loss of the victims whose lives were taken and the nation reels from another tragic shooting, the question on many minds is how to heal, and how to move forward.

A funeral for 10-year-old victim Nevaeh Bravo will be held Thursday in Uvalde, and services will continue throughout the month for all of the victims.

Mourners gathered Wednesday at a Catholic church to say goodbye to Robb Elementary School teacher Irma Garcia — who died in the shooting — and her husband, Joe — who died two days later from a heart attack.

Uvalde School District officials announced that Robb Elementary School will not be used for classes at the beginning of a new school year in the fall.

The district said it will instead utilize other school district buildings for students and staff to conduct classes. The district said this is a short-term solution.

There are reports of discussions to tear down Robb Elementary, but specifics of what that would look like still aren’t clear.

The Hill and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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