As Acting Police Chief Uvalde resigns, questions remain about what Texas’ top law enforcement did and didn’t know about school shootings | CNN

Uvalde, Texas CNN — New audio obtained by CNN shows that Texas’ top law enforcement knew the children were being held at Robb Elementary more than 30 minutes before someone shot and rescued the shooter. Within two minutes after Lt. Mariano Pargas, Acting Police Chief of Uvalde, obtained details that the children were alive amid the massacre of classmates in a classroom, essentially the same information was shared with someone from the State Department of Public Safety (DPS). Pargas, 65, resigned Thursday two days before a “special meeting” called by the city of Uvalde to decide his fate. The rare Saturday evening gathering was scheduled after CNN said she knew eight or nine children were still alive after a girl called from a classroom and failed to organize help. It’s not clear how DPS’ internal investigation is viewing the communications failure. The department announced it was reviewing the actions of 91 DPS officers who arrived at Robb Elementary School on May 24, where 19 children and two teachers were killed while the gunman hid in a classroom for 77 minutes. These failures include what happened at the Austin headquarters and how information was shared via phone, text message and radio. New audio obtained by CNN shows a woman from “Austin’s DPS” calling the Uvalde police detachment to get additional information to provide to the professional DPS team sent in to help, including SWAT. The caller was clearly shocked to hear the details of a murder at an elementary school. “Rob Elementary School? Oh my God,” she says. When the dispatcher tells her “there are multiple DOAs (deaths)” she says “Are you kidding me?” “I am not.” The dispatcher answers. “Oh My God.” The DPS staff sighed. “Confirm.” She got more information about the shooter, and before hanging up the phone at around 12:20 p.m., she found out that he was still at school with students. I’m not aware of any other location it might have passed. DPS did not respond to CNN’s questions about the call and what happened after the call. But it’s clear that the information provided in the phone call between Uvalde and Austin—that children were at school with the shooter and that people were already dead—wasn’t shared enough. Statewide DPS assists local law enforcement agencies with major incidents and has specialized equipment and teams that may not be available in smaller city and county militaries. Many teams were sent to Uvalde, but they were not given vital information to focus on strengthening the response, stopping the killers and rescuing the victims. Pargas, like any other leader in the field, could change the dynamics of the stopped work, but he could also change the DPS chief. However, the urgency of children and teachers in need appears to be in communication difficulties. captain. According to interview transcripts obtained by CNN, DPS SWAT commander John Miller deployed his entire team around noon on May 24 when he was notified of the active shooter, despite nearly everyone being at least 175 miles away. I told the investigator. . But once they hit the road, they got no new information, he said. “At first there were rumors that there was a barricade shooter, but he is shooting at the police at the school,” he said. “Since then, there has been no information about whether the hostages have been held.” He then said he spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was going on so that he could devise an appropriate plan to critically account for the innocent people who were with the culprit. “A series of phone calls and text messages all over the next 40 minutes were spent trying to find it,” he told investigators. Only one member of Miller’s team made it to Rob Elementary School, and law enforcement broke into the classroom at 12:50 p.m. and killed the shooter. “I spoke with the Highway Patrol Sergeant and asked if there were any children still in the building where the shooter was located.” staff sergeant. Lucas Patterson told Texas Rangers, who were examining the responses, according to records obtained by CNN. “She wasn’t positive about the information and was going to check it out.” The failed information flow did not just affect the DPS SWAT team mentioned in the 12:18pm call to Uvalde dispatch. DPS Captain Joel Betancourt told investigators: No more bullets were fired. We didn’t know if there were children or injured people in the building as we do now. Back then, there were just people in the room,” he said. Nonetheless, Betancourt radioed the break-in team to halt their advance into the classroom, believing a better team was on the way, as previously reported by CNN. No one answered his call. The break-in, which stopped the gunman, occurred more than 30 minutes after details of the trapped children were passed to Pargas and DPS. The actions of the DPS that day and senior leaders not only gave conflicting accounts of what happened, but also how they investigated the response, continues to haunt Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, who recounted this week to CNN. It was a cover up. DPS director Steven McCraw rejected the offer. A total of 376 law enforcement officers from 23 agencies responded to the Robb massacre, including 91 men and women from the DPS. An arsenal of special equipment has been deployed along with manpower, most of which do not appear to have a clear plan as to whether or not they will be needed by the DPS. “Two DPS helicopters, one with an AUF package (aerial sniper), will take about 25 to 30 minutes,” he confirmed, confirming the location to be Robb Elementary. ”

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