HOUSTON — Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo has maintained that he did not consider himself to be the incident commander on the day of the Robb Elementary School shooting.
But the Texas House of Representatives special committee did not find this to be believable, according to its interim report released to the public on Sunday.
There is only one person who should have been in charge when the first shots were fired that day, according to the report.
RELATED: Newly released Uvalde school shooting report finds 'systemic failures, egregious poor decision making'
That person was Arredondo.
“The Uvalde CISD's written active shooter plan directed its police chief to assume command and control of the response to an active shooter," page seven of the report states.
Arredondo was a co-author of that active shooter policy.
The chief's failure to correctly categorize the event was likely the greatest mistake made, according to the committee.
Instead of ordering a response designed to take out the active shooter, officers treated the killer as a barricaded subject.
“…We have children now that we know in these other rooms. My thought was: we’re a barrier; get these kids out…," Arredondo said during the special committee hearing.
According to the report, Arredondo tried to explain his rationale for treating the shooter as a barricaded subject.
“I just knew that he was cornered," Arredondo testified. "And my thought was: '…we’re a wall for these kids. We’re not going to let him get to these kids in these classrooms.'"
Arredondo told committee members the reason the shooter was not engaged and killed by officers was that nobody could see him.
“When there’s a threat, you have to visibly be able to see the threat," he testified. "You have to have a target before you engage your firearm. That was just something that’s gone through my head a million times ... Getting fired at through the wall ... Coming from a blind wall, I had no idea what was on the other side of that wall ... I never saw a threat. I never got to ... physically see the threat or the shooter.”
Nearly all outside law enforcement agencies that testified during the public Texas Senate's Uvalde shooting hearings said Arredondo's response was clearly wrong.
When there is an active shooter in a classroom, officers must breach the room immediately and engage the shooter with their firearms until he is dead.