- A law enforcement source said Uvalde police didn’t try to open the door to the room in which the shooter was barricaded.
- The source told the San Antonio Express-News that if the door was locked, police had a tool to pry it open.
- Uvalde police have received ongoing scrutiny for their response to the May 24 shooting that resulted in 21 deaths.
Uvalde police didn’t check to see if the door to the two connected classrooms the Robb Elementary shooter barricaded himself in with children was unlocked, a source close to the investigation told the San Antonio Express-News.
The Texas Department of Public Safety previously said that the doors locked from the inside. But after viewing surveillance footage, investigators believed the doors may have not been able to be locked from the inside due to a malfunction, the source the Express-News.
If the doors were in fact locked, police had access to a halligan bar, a forcible entry tool shaped like a crowbar that could have opened the door, the source said.
On May 24, an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers and injured 17 others at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.
Footage of the incident viewed by investigators showed the shooter entered the school through a hallway door left unlocked due to another door malfunction.
Captured on video, the shooter, being pursued by three officers, shot into the classrooms, walked back out into the hallway, and eventually occupied the classrooms, the source said. The gunman also shot at officers from inside the classroom, the Express-News reported.
Uvalde Consolidated School District Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo and 19 other officers spent over an hour waiting in a hallway outside after the gunman entered the classrooms.
Arredondo told the Texas Tribune the response was delayed because he requested tactical gear, a sniper, and keys to get inside, all while trying to hold back from the doors in order to avoid gunfire.
Once Arredondo obtained the keys, he said he tried multiple keys before eventually finding the correct one, allowing Border Patrol agents to enter and fatally shoot the gunman.
The source also told the Express-News that Arredondo did not initially use the keys he obtained from a custodian on the door leading to classroom 111 and instead tried to find a master key to the other doors nearby.
The report adds to a growing list of alterations to the timeline of the May 24 shooting.
Arredondo has received the largest share of scrutiny for his role during the shooting. Body camera footage from the day of the incident showed that police knew that children were still alive in classrooms 111 and 112, but did not immediately enter to save them.
The Texas Department of Public Safety also said that Arredondo made the call to treat the gunman as a “barricaded subject” and not an “active shooter.”
Representatives for the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Uvalde Police, and a lawyer for Arredondo did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.