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Uvalde School District Police Chief Flees CNN Reporter After Being Confronted About Shooting

Uvalde School District Police Chief Flees CNN Reporter After Being Confronted About Shooting

Questions continue to mount about law enforcement's response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and the school district's police chief is only making things worse.

For the first time since the day the tragedy occurred, the district's Chief of Police Pedro "Pete" Arredondo has finally spoken out about his force's woefully inadequate response—by refusing to answer questions and then fleeing the interview.

CNN's Aaron Cooper and Shimon Prokupecz confronted Arredondo outside his home and office to ask him about his decision to delay entering the school and the Texas Rangers' claims Arredondo has stopped cooperating with their investigation.

After using the victims' grieving families as an excuse to evade Cooper and Prokupecz's questions, Arredondo fled into his office without answering other than to deny the Texas Rangers' version of events.

See the incident below.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers, it was Arredondo who made the call not to enter the school for nearly an hour after the gunman arrived, choosing to wait for reinforcements even as children called 911 themselves from inside the school.

Texas DPS and the Rangers say Arredondo has stopped responding to requests for a follow-up interview on the matter.

The police response to the shooting has sparked a national outcry as social media videos of law enforcement's inaction and use of force against terrified parents outside the school have gone viral.

Speaking with CNN, Arredondo used those parents as an excuse for evading questions.

"We're going to be respectful to the family. We're going to [answer questions] eventually."
"Whenever this is done and the families quit grieving, then we'll do that obviously."

He also claimed Texas DPS and the Texas Rangers are lying about his refusal to cooperate.

He told CNN's Cooper:

"I am in contact with DPS everyday."

The comments are the first Arredondo made since two brief press statements the day of the shooting during which he provided no information about the response and refused to answer questions.

In all it took law enforcement about 80 minutes to subdue the killer at Uvalde, despite national standards set after the 1999 Columbine shooting which call for law enforcement to subdue gunmen as quickly as possible in active-shooter scenarios.

Arredondo should be aware of these standards as he has completed at least three active-shooter training courses in the last three years.

Texas DPS Director Steve McGraw said Arredondo's response was the "wrong decision" and he wrongfully treated the shooter as a barricaded suspect instead of an active shooter.

On Twitter, people were astonished by Arredondo's evasive response and enraged by his use of the victims' families as his excuse.

Adding to the controversy surrounding Arredondo is that he was elected and sworn into Uvalde's city council in a secret ceremony with no notice to the media earlier this week.

The ceremony was held in secret "out of respect for the families who buried their children today" according to the city's beleaguered mayor, Don McLaughlin.