Google Play mobile download button
Apple IOS mobile download button
Google Play mobile download button
Apple IOS mobile download button
HomeBreaking NewsUvalde chief told officials he heard gunfire, but decided it wasn't active...

Uvalde chief told officials he heard gunfire, but decided it wasn’t active shooter

'Quick read' news summary

There was still active gunfire inside an elementary school in Texas on May 24 when the school district’s police chief arrived and decided not to treat the scene as an active shooter event.

Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde schools police chief who has since been fired for his actions that day, told investigators he assumed students were already dead but wanted to focus his attention on rescuing those children still alive.

“My first thought is that we needed to vacate,” said Arredondo. “We have him contained. … There’s probably gonna be some deceased in there, but we don’t need any more from out here.”

Arredondo made comments less than 24 hours after 19 students and two of their teachers were killed at Robb Elementary School in what stands as the second-worst school shooting in American history. The wide-ranging interview, obtained by ABC News, includes the only videotaped comments Arredondo has made since the shooting, and the hour-long conversation provides the most detailed look to date at the chief’s thought process in what top Texas officials have called a “failure” of police response in waiting to make an effort to stop the rampage.

Uvalde:365 is a continuing ABC News series reported from Uvalde and focused on the Texas community and how it forges on in the shadow of tragedy.

“When we entered the building on the south entrance … I saw a cloud of smoke,” Arredondo told investigators. “I had just heard the shots right there. They were sporadic.”

Arredondo said he headed toward the classroom where the

There was still active gunfire inside an elementary school in Texas on May 24 when the school district's police chief arrived and decided not to treat the scene as an active shooter event. Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde schools police chief who has since been fired for his actions that day, told investigators he assumed students were already dead but wanted to focus his attention on rescuing those children still alive. Arredondo made comments less than 24 hours after 19 students and two of their teachers were killed at Robb Elementary School in what stands as the second-worst school shooting in American history.

Read different perspectives