A recording of a phone call between the Uvalde police chief and a dispatcher shows the lengthy delay.
The police chief at the scene of the May school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, was delayed for 30 minutes after learning that children were trapped in a classroom by a gunman.
The audio, which was released by CNN on Monday, shows a call between an emergency dispatcher and the city’s police chief, Mariano Pargas, according to the Associated Press.
A 10-year-old girl called 911 from a neighboring room, asking for help. Another courier sent his offer to Pargas.
“So how many are still alive?” Pargas asks in the recording. “Eight to nine is still alive,” the dispatcher replies, referring to the estimate given by the 10-year-old. He’s not so sure.
Pargas ends the song by saying “Okay, okay, thanks.” It would take another 30 minutes before the police broke into the room.
This video highlights the delays that occurred as one of the worst school shootings in US history happened inside Robb Elementary School. 19 children and two teachers were killed.
Hundreds of police officers converged on the school, some just minutes after the gunman entered the building. But it took 70 minutes for the shooter to be killed, even though the authorities knew that the children were still in danger.
The response became a hot topic, as families and community members sought accountability.
Pargas was placed on administrative leave in July after a scathing report found “systematic” failures in the law enforcement response. The school district’s police chief, Pete Arredondo, was fired.
Body cameras taken at 12:11 p.m. show officers in the hallway outside the classroom receiving alerts that a Border Patrol intelligence unit was 30 minutes away.
The dispatcher can be heard saying that a child is calling from the classroom, describing a “room full of victims”. This is sent to Pargas, who does not comment on the photos.
According to CNN, Pargas spoke to a dispatcher at 12:16 p.m. It wasn’t until 12:50pm when the police entered the room and killed the gunman.