Nearly eight months after 21 people—including 19 children—were massacred in Uvalde, Texas, CNN has obtained video footage showing the school district’s then-police chief speaking on the tragedy just one day after it went down.
While the responding officers’ lack of action immediately drew criticism from the public, footage from an interview with Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, former chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, has reignited outrage over the inaction.
Additionally, some of the comments he gave agents with the FBI and Texas Department of Public Safety contradict those made to news outlets about what occurred.
CNN has obtained the video statement former Uvalde school police chief Pete Arredondo gave investigators day after the massacre: ‘There's probably going to be some deceased in there, but we don't need any more from out here' | CNN https://t.co/BgwzHwi6yq
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) January 11, 2023
Uvalde Officers Knew The Kids’ Situation But Didn’t Act: ‘We Don’t Need Any More [Deceased]’
During the sit-down, which occurred just one day after the incident, Pete spoke on how he knowingly prioritized vacating others instead of apprehending the shooter and rescuing his victims.
“Once I realized that was going on, my first thought is that we need to vacate. We have him contained—and I know this is horrible and I know it’s [what] our training tells us to do but—we have him contained. There’s probably going to be some deceased in there, but we don’t need any more from out here.”
He continued, explaining that the gunman’s firepower led him to take on this perspective.
“I know what the firepower [the shooter] had, based on what shells I saw, the holes in the wall in the room next to his. I also know I had students that were around there that weren’t in the immediate threat…The preservation of life around, everything around him, I felt was priority. Because I know there’s probably victims in there and with the shots I heard, I know there’s probably somebody who’s going to be deceased. I know these weren’t.”
Harrowingly, Pete also told investigators that, while he “was certain [he] heard [the guman] reload,” he still took no action.
Pete’s Comments Contradict Earlier Statements About His Role In The Operation
We should also note that there were some contradictions to the story behind the officers’ handling of the shooting, which was described as “an overall lackadaisical approach” in an investigative report, according to CNN.
Specifically, in response to backlash, officers shared that they had tried to enter the two shooter-occupied classrooms, 111 and 112, though they found them to be locked. However, Pete told investigators that he knew he “wasn’t going to be able to grab that door.”
“I know that I wasn’t going to be able to grab that door. That’s my thought.”
Additionally, despite Pete Arredondo telling the The Texas Tribune that he “didn’t issue any orders,” he told investigators that he was actively moving officers into a “pyramid” formation and in contact with other groups of officers.
Body cam footage also showed Pete saying, “We’re going to clear out this building before we do any breach.”
“I know we probably have kids in there, but we’ve got to save the lives of the other ones.”
You can watch the video here.
What’s your reaction to this uncovered interview?