UVALDE, Texas ( Associated Press) — The police chief of the Uvalde school district has resigned from his position on the city council just weeks after being sworn in following allegations of wrongdoing in response to a mass shooting at Rob Elementary School, in which 19 students And the students were left. death of two teachers,
Chief Pete Arredondo Uvalde told the leader-news On Friday, he has decided to step down for the betterment of the city administration. He was elected to the District 3 Council position on 7 May and was sworn in in a closed-door ceremony on 31 May, just a week after the massacre.
“After much consideration, I regret to inform those who have voted for me that I have decided to step down as a member of the city council for District 3. The mayor, city council and city staff We must continue to move forward without distraction. I think it is the best decision for Uvalde,” Arredondo said.
Arredondo, who has been on administrative leave from his school district post since June 22has declined repeated requests for comment from the Associated Press. His attorney, George Hyde, did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment on Saturday.
On June 21, the city council voted unanimously to deny Arredondo a leave of absence from attending public meetings. The families of those killed in the shooting had urged the city leaders to sack them.
Representatives for Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday.
Colonel Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a state Senate hearing When the massacre unfolded last month on May 24, on-site Commander Arredondo made “terrible decisions”, and the police response was a “gross failure”.
Three minutes after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the school, law enforcement armed enough to stop the gunman was on the scene, McCraw testified. Yet police officers armed with rifles stood and waited in the school hallway for more than an hour while the gunman carried out the massacre. classroom door McCraw said the inside could not be locked, but there was no indication that officers tried to open the door while the gunman was inside.
McCraw says parents begged police outside school Students repeatedly pleaded for help from 911 operators to get in and inside the classroom While more than a dozen officers were waiting in a hallway. Officials from other agencies urged Arredondo to let them in because the children were in danger.
“The only thing preventing dedicated officers’ hallways from entering rooms 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to put the officers’ lives before the lives of the children,” McCraw said.
Arredondo has tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he did not consider himself the commander in charge of operations and assumed that someone else had taken control of the law enforcement response. He said he didn’t have police and campus radios, but used his cellphone to stash tactical gear, a sniper and classroom keys.
It’s still not clear why it took so long For the police to enter the classroom, how did they communicate with each other during the attack, and what their body cameras show.
Officials have declined to release further details, citing the investigation.
Arredondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent much of his nearly 30-year career in law enforcement in the city.