The police chief who officials said decided to wait to confront the gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, completed an active shooter training course in December, according NBC News.
Peter Arredondo, the chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated
Independent School District, completed an eight-hour "Active Shooter
Training Mandate" course on Dec. 17, 2021, according to Texas Commission
on Law Enforcement public records obtained by NBC News.
He completed the same course the previous year, on
Aug. 25, 2020, according to the documents.
Arredondo, who has been the chief since 2020,
stopped at least 19 officers from rushing in as the 18-year-old shooter opened
fire for at least an hour, killing 19 students and two teachers, officials said
"It was the wrong decision," Steven
McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said at a news
McCraw said Arredondo believed that the shooter had
barricaded himself and that the children were not under an active threat.
The training course explicitly educates participants
on how to "compare/contrast an active shooter event and a hostage or
Instead of sending officers in, he spent time
finding keys that would let him into the school, according to McCraw.
In the midst of the shooting, at least two children called 911, one of whom begged for
help; one girl called 911 more than five times, McCraw said.
Federal agents were told by local police to wait and
not enter the school — and then decided after about half an hour to ignore that
initial guidance and find the shooter, two senior federal law enforcement
officials told NBC News on Friday.
Arredondo was not present Friday when McCraw briefed
reporters, and McCraw did not identify him by name.
Arredondo's cell phone voicemail was full when NBC
News attempted to contact him Saturday. NBC News sent him a text and also left
him a message at his work line. The school district did not immediately respond
to an email requesting comment, and a phone number for after-hours questions
appeared to be disconnected.
A police officer parked outside Arredondo's home on
Saturday said his family was declining interviews with reporters.
The Texas Commission on Law
Enforcement released the curriculum for the training course two years ago,
according to information on the website for the Texas School Safety Center at
Texas State University.
Three representatives for the Texas School Safety
Center did not immediately reply to an email requesting comment Saturday, and a
spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement did not immediately
respond to a voicemail message.
The 30-page training course curriculum is divided
into six units.
The first unit aims to teach participants about how
school shootings in recent decades — including the massacres at Columbine High
School in Littleton, Colorado, in 1999, and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High
School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018 — influenced "law enforcement response tactics."
The second unit lays out "priorities" for
responding officers, and states: "First responders to the active shooter
scene will usually be required to place themselves in harm’s way and display
uncommon acts of courage to save the innocent. First responders must
understand and accept the role of 'Protector' and be prepared to meet violence
with controlled aggression."
The third unit is titled "Stop the
Killing." The fifth unit is titled "Stop the Dying."
"Time is the number one enemy during active
shooter response," the curriculum states. "The short duration and
high casualty rates produced by these events requires immediate response to
reduce the loss of life."
The records also show that Arredondo completed more
generalized "School-Based Law Enforcement" training courses on Nov.
12, 2020, and July 18, 2018.
Arredondo recently won a seat on the Uvalde City
Council, and he is scheduled to be sworn onto the council on Tuesday — exactly
one week after the Uvalde shooting.
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