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CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz Confronts Chief Pedro Arredondo

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CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz attempted to get some answers from Uvalde Independent School District Police Chief Pedro Arredondo on Wednesday, confronting him outside his office, but Arredondo dodged his questions.

At issue is the law enforcement response to a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24 that left 19 children and two teachers dead. Last Friday, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Steven McCraw acknowledged it was the “wrong decision” for officers to treat the situation as a “barricaded subject” instead of an “active gunman” and delay entering the classroom for nearly an hour. Police remained in the hallways even as children inside the classroom were dialing 911 and begging for help. Eventually, a Border Patrol Tactical Unit stormed the classroom and killed the gunman, despite being told to stand down by the local police.

Numerous initial statements from the police have turned out to be incorrect, and the Uvalde Police Department and the Uvalde Independent School District Police are reportedly refusing to cooperate with the Texas DPS investigation into their response to the shooting.

Arredondo was elected to the city council in the May 7 election. Originally, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin had said he would delay swearing him in until all the victims from the school shooting had been buried, but then swore him and the other new council members in on Tuesday evening in a private ceremony.

DPS spokesman McCraw identified Arredondo, as chief of the Uvalde ISD Police, as the incident commander during the shooting who made the call to hold off breaching the classroom door. Arredondo has not responded to interview requests and Prokupecz waited outside the school district office Wednesday morning to confront him as he attempted to enter through the back door.

In the video clip aired by CNN, Prokupecz can be seen walking up to Arredondo as the chief exits his car, and saying to him that they wanted to talk to him about his decision.

Arredondo rebuffed the question, saying that they were “not going to release anything,” because “we have people in our  community being buried.”

“How do you explain yourself?” Prokupecz asked him for his response to McCraw identifying him as the person who made the decision not to go into the classroom.

“We’re going to be respectful, respectful to the families–” said Arredondo a few times.

“I understand that,” Prokupecz interjected. “You have an opportunity to explain yourself to the parents.”

“We’re going to do that eventually, obviously,” the chief replied.

“When?” Prokupecz asked.

“Whenever this is done, the families quit grieving, then we’ll do that obviously,” said Arredondo. “Just so everybody knows, we have been in contact with DPS every day, just so you all know, every day.”

“They say you’re not cooperating,” Prokupecz said.

“I’ve been on the phone with them every day,” Arredondo claimed.

“They say you’re not cooperating,” Prokupecz repeated.

“Just so you know, we have been talking to them every day,” Arredondo insisted.

“What is your reaction to–” Prokupecz attempted again.

“Y’all have a good day,” said Arredondo as he turned to enter the building.

“What is your reaction, sir?” Prokupecz called out one more time.

Prokupecz told CNN Newsroom anchor Poppy Harlow that they had given Arredondo “ample opportunity” to respond, asking the questions “several times,” but “he chose to dodge those questions.”

“We have been looking for him for days,” Prokupecz continued. “We have been reaching out to him, wanting him to respond to this community, people here are very upset over some of the decision-making,” but Arredondo was still “dodging some of the key questions in this, claiming he’s cooperating in this investigation, he claims he’s going to address some of these questions at some point.”

“We’ll see,” Prokupecz concluded. “Look, there’s still a lot of questions that he needs to answer, as well as law enforcement in general here.”

“Absolutely,” Harlow replied. “He said when the families stop grieving — they’re never going to stop grieving and they deserve answers.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz attempted to get some answers from Uvalde Independent School District Police Chief Pedro Arredondo on Wednesday, confronting him outside his office, but Arredondo dodged his questions.

At issue is the law enforcement response to a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24 that left 19 children and two teachers dead. Last Friday, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Steven McCraw acknowledged it was the “wrong decision” for officers to treat the situation as a “barricaded subject” instead of an “active gunman” and delay entering the classroom for nearly an hour. Police remained in the hallways even as children inside the classroom were dialing 911 and begging for help. Eventually, a Border Patrol Tactical Unit stormed the classroom and killed the gunman, despite being told to stand down by the local police.

Numerous initial statements from the police have turned out to be incorrect, and the Uvalde Police Department and the Uvalde Independent School District Police are reportedly refusing to cooperate with the Texas DPS investigation into their response to the shooting.

Arredondo was elected to the city council in the May 7 election. Originally, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin had said he would delay swearing him in until all the victims from the school shooting had been buried, but then swore him and the other new council members in on Tuesday evening in a private ceremony.

DPS spokesman McCraw identified Arredondo, as chief of the Uvalde ISD Police, as the incident commander during the shooting who made the call to hold off breaching the classroom door. Arredondo has not responded to interview requests and Prokupecz waited outside the school district office Wednesday morning to confront him as he attempted to enter through the back door.

In the video clip aired by CNN, Prokupecz can be seen walking up to Arredondo as the chief exits his car, and saying to him that they wanted to talk to him about his decision.

Arredondo rebuffed the question, saying that they were “not going to release anything,” because “we have people in our  community being buried.”

“How do you explain yourself?” Prokupecz asked him for his response to McCraw identifying him as the person who made the decision not to go into the classroom.

“We’re going to be respectful, respectful to the families–” said Arredondo a few times.

“I understand that,” Prokupecz interjected. “You have an opportunity to explain yourself to the parents.”

“We’re going to do that eventually, obviously,” the chief replied.

“When?” Prokupecz asked.

“Whenever this is done, the families quit grieving, then we’ll do that obviously,” said Arredondo. “Just so everybody knows, we have been in contact with DPS every day, just so you all know, every day.”

“They say you’re not cooperating,” Prokupecz said.

“I’ve been on the phone with them every day,” Arredondo claimed.

“They say you’re not cooperating,” Prokupecz repeated.

“Just so you know, we have been talking to them every day,” Arredondo insisted.

“What is your reaction to–” Prokupecz attempted again.

“Y’all have a good day,” said Arredondo as he turned to enter the building.

“What is your reaction, sir?” Prokupecz called out one more time.

Prokupecz told CNN Newsroom anchor Poppy Harlow that they had given Arredondo “ample opportunity” to respond, asking the questions “several times,” but “he chose to dodge those questions.”

“We have been looking for him for days,” Prokupecz continued. “We have been reaching out to him, wanting him to respond to this community, people here are very upset over some of the decision-making,” but Arredondo was still “dodging some of the key questions in this, claiming he’s cooperating in this investigation, he claims he’s going to address some of these questions at some point.”

“We’ll see,” Prokupecz concluded. “Look, there’s still a lot of questions that he needs to answer, as well as law enforcement in general here.”

“Absolutely,” Harlow replied. “He said when the families stop grieving — they’re never going to stop grieving and they deserve answers.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

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