Included in the latest round of ever-more-disgusting revelations is that when an agent from the Texas Department of Public Safety arrived 20 minutes into the shooting, the officers waiting outside the door claimed they didn’t know if there were children inside.
“If there is, then they just need to go in,” the agent said.
Another officer answered, “It is unknown at this time.”
The agent shot back, “Y’all don’t know if there’s kids in there?” He added, “If there’s kids in there we need to go in there.”
“Whoever is in charge will determine that,” came the reply.
The inaction appeared too much for the special agent. He noted that there were still children in other classrooms within the school who needed to be evacuated.
“Well, there’s kids over here,” he said. “So I’m getting kids out.”
That agent left the hallway in disgust and helped evacuate children from other classrooms. The officers in the hallway … stood there outside the door.
The door they didn’t test. The door beyond which were two fourth-grade classrooms. The classrooms from which they were getting phone calls begging for help, including the wife of one of those officers who called her police officer husband as she was bleeding to death in that room.
When those police officers claimed they didn’t know if there were kids in the room, this is who they were failing to protect.
It wasn’t just one phone call, it wasn’t two. Both teacher Eva Mireless, who had already been wounded, and multiple other children called 911 begging for those men outside the door to come in.
Pete Arredondo, police chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, has claimed he “did not receive those calls.” That Arredondo wasn’t actually on the other end of the phone for those children and teachers is perfectly believable. That the men in that hallway didn’t know there were children inside, and that they were being killed, is absolutely not believable.
The cowardice and incompetence on display get more staggering with every revelation. At this point, it’s safe to say that anyone—anyone—with the available equipment and information would have opened that door and tried to save those kids. Anyone except the men who stood around and listened to them die.