The audio captures the moment pupil Khloie Torres begs officers to “hurry” to Robb Elementary School, where 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos had shot her fourth grade classmates and teachers.
In clips released by CNN with permission of her parents, she is heard whispering to the dispatcher: “I’m in classroom 112. Please hurry. There is a lot of dead bodies.”
10 year old Khloie Torres called 911 during the Uvalde shooting - pleading for police action with composure and grace while trying to keep her classmates calm. With permission from her parents CNN has excerpts of the call. Astonishing report from @ShimonPro pic.twitter.com/asbQnJr0WC
— Bianca Nobilo (@bianca_nobilo) November 2, 2022
Nearly 400 law enforcement officials rushed to the mass shooting at the US primary school that left 19 children and two teachers dead on May 24.
Yet “systemic failures and egregiously poor decision-making” created a chaotic scene that lasted more than an hour before the gunman was finally confronted and killed, investigators have since found.
The release of Khloie’s 911 call has stoked criticism of the “botched” response by authorities, and the failure by officers to breach the classroom and apprehend the gunman sooner.
“Please get help,” Khloie, now 11, can be heard telling the 911 operator. “I don’t wanna die. My teacher is dead. Oh, my God.
“I need help…please. Have y’all captured the person?”
The dispatcher repeatedly tells the brave young girl to keep quiet and to tell her terrified friends be quiet.
Sounding close to tears, Khloie replies: “I’m telling everyone to be quiet but nobody is listening to me.
“I understand what to do in these situations. My dad taught me when I was a little girl. Send help.”
A total of 376 armed law enforcement personnel were gathering in the corridors outside the classroom, but failed to burst into the classroom. It is understood that approximately 100 shots came before any officer entered.
According to CNN, Khloie’s call to police came at 12.10pm local time. But it was another 40 minutes after she detailed the situation inside the classroom to authorities before a strike team burst in and challenged the gunman, at 12.50pm.
Ramos was shot dead by police more than an hour after his killing spree began.
The tactical response has been condemned by the head of Texas’ state police condemned as a failure and by some Uvalde residents as “cowardly”.
In July, fresh anger erupted over the police response after CCTV footage emerged showing new evidence of delays in tackling the gunman.
Video from inside the school showed one officer stopping to use a hand sanitiser dispenser mounted on the wall, and another pausing to look at his phone.
Heavily armed police officers, some with rifles and bulletproof shields, are also seen massed in the hallway and waiting for more than an hour before going inside and stopping the massacre.
Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde school district police chief who resigned from his newly appointed seat on the city council after the incident.
Following conflicting and inaccurate statements from authorities about why law enforcement waited so long to confront the gunman, Mr Arredondo reportedly told a committee from the Texas House of Representatives that he treated the shooters as “barricaded subject”.
According to the committee’s report, he defended not treating the scene as an active-shooter situation because he did not have visual contact with the gunman.
The report also showed Mr Arredondo had tried to find a key for the classrooms, but no-one ever bothered to see if the doors were locked.
“Arredondo’s search for a key consumed his attention and wasted precious time, delaying the breach of the classrooms,” the report read.