The police chief of the Uvalde school district in Texas said that he’d intentionally left behind his radios while entering the Robb Elementary School to stop the gunman on May 24. 

Peter Arredondo, one of the first responders, entered the property without the police or school radio. The chief gave his first full interview to the Texas Tribune, noting that he wanted both hands free to hold the gun and fire quickly and accurately upon encountering the gunman. 

An 18-year-old entered the school in Texas and shot 19 kids and two teachers, three weeks back, and since then, Arredondo and the responding officers have faced criticism for their handling of the situation. The gunman remained in the school for an hour until he was finally killed by US Border Patrol. Both state and federal law enforcement are investigating the incident. 

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Arredondo claimed that one of his radios had a large antenna while the other would have to be clipped to his belt. Both would have slowed him down while he ran into the school, as per the police chief. He also added that he knew from experience radios didn’t work in some school buildings. 

The Uvalde police chief had entered the building with a group of officers and heard gunfire. Eventually, they found the gunman had barricaded himself in a classroom but were unable to break down the door. Arredondo, who didn’t have radios on him, was cut off from dispatchers and first responders outside the school. He was also not aware of the many 911 calls coming from the students trapped inside with the gunman. 

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There wasn’t any communication among the officers in the school either. Arredondo stated that the lack of radio communication was in an effort to remain quiet. His lawyer, George E. Hyde, told the Tribune that the officers would have turned their radios off even if they had them, to avoid giving away their position to the gunman.