Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Dublin: 24°C Wednesday 10 August 2022
Advertisement

Uvalde schools’ police chief quits council after shooting response criticism

It comes after allegations he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 pupils and two teachers dead.

Pete Arredondo (second from the left).
Pete Arredondo (second from the left).
Image: PA

THE UVALDE SCHOOL district’s police chief has stepped down from his position on the city council just weeks after being sworn in.

It comes after allegations he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 pupils and two teachers dead.

Pete Arredondo told the Uvalde Leader-News he decided to quit for the good of the city administration.

He was elected to the District 3 council position on May 7 and sworn in — in a behind-closed-doors ceremony — on May 31, just a week after the massacre.

“After much consideration, I regret to inform those who voted for me that I have decided to step down as a member of the city council for District 3. The mayor, the city council, and the city staff must continue to move forward without distractions. I feel this is the best decision for Uvalde,” Arredondo said.

Arredondo, who has been on administrative leave from his school district position since June 22, has declined repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press.

His lawyer, George Hyde, did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.

On June 21, the city council voted unanimously to deny Arredondo a leave of absence from appearing at public meetings.

Relatives of the shooting victims had pleaded with city leaders to fire him.

Representatives of the Uvalde mayor, Don McLaughlin, have not responded to requests for comment.

Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a state Senate hearing last month that Arredondo — the on-site commander — made “terrible decisions” as the massacre unfolded on May 24, and that the police response was an “abject failure”.

Three minutes after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the school, sufficient armed law enforcement were on scene to stop the gunman, McCraw said in evidence.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

Yet police officers armed with rifles stood and waited in a school corridor for over an hour while the gunman carried out the massacre.

The classroom door could not be locked from the inside, but there is no indication officers tried to open the door while the gunman was inside, McCraw said.

McCraw has said parents begged police outside the school to move in and pupils inside the classroom repeatedly pleaded with 911 operators for help while more than a dozen officers waited in a corridor.

Officers from other agencies urged Arredondo to let them move in because children were in danger.

“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” McCraw said.

About the author:

Read next:

COMMENTS (13)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel