Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District
Pete Arredondo 63078a9447b21

Uvalde (Texas) district fires police chief over response to shooting massacre

Aug. 25, 2022
Pete Arredondo is the first officer to lose his job over the response to the May 24 attack at Robb Elementary that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

The Uvalde (Texas) school board has voted the district's fire its police chief, Pete Arredondo, over his response to the May 24 school shooting attack that left 19 students and two teachers dead. 

The Associated Press reports that the board unanimously voted to fire Arredondo during a meeting Wednesday evening.

Arredondo, who has been on leave from the district since June 22, has come under the most intense scrutiny of the nearly 400 law enforcement personnel who rushed to school but waited more than 70 minutes to confront the 18-year-old gunman in the fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary School.

Arredondo was criticized for not ordering officers to act sooner. Col. Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, has said Arredondo was in charge of the law enforcement response to the attack.

Minutes before the school board meeting got underway, Arredondo’s attorney released a scathing letter that amounted to the police chief’s fullest defense to date of his actions. The letter disputes the characterization of Arredondo as a fumbling chief taken to task in a damning state investigation for not taking command and wasting time, but instead portrays him as a brave officer whose level-headed decisions saved the lives of other students.

The letter alleges that Arredondo warned the district about a variety of security issues in the schools a year before the shooting and asserted he wasn’t in charge of the scene.

Only one other officer — Uvalde Police Department Lt. Mariano Pargas, who was the city’s acting police chief on the day of massacre — is known to have been placed on leave for their actions related to the shooting.

The Texas Department of Public Safety, which had more than 90 state troopers at the scene, is conducting an investigation into the response by state police. 

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