Police Chief for Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Pete Arredondo has now been placed on administrative leave after he was involved in the Uvalde School shooting, according to the school system’s superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell.
Arredondo was criticized for his handling of shooting at Robb Elementary School in May that left 19 schoolchildren and two teachers murdered. He was the commander on the scene and is being blamed for his decision to delay breaching the classroom where the gunman was killing kids.
On Wednesday, Lt. Mike Hernandez took over the duties of Chief of Police, according to the Superintendent.
“From the beginning of this horrible event, I shared that the district would wait until the investigation was complete before making personnel decisions,” Harrell said. “Today, I am still without details of the investigations being conducted by various agencies. Because of the lack of clarity that remains and the unknown timing of when I will receive the results of the investigations, I have made the decision to place Chief Arredondo on administrative leave effective on this date.”
On Monday, parents and community members called for Arredondo to resign.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said that Chief Arredondo put the lives of police over “the lives of children.” He testified Tuesday to state lawmakers and called Arredondo’s response an “abject failure.” He detailed the fact that officers were present three minutes after the shooting started and had enough police to “isolate, distract and neutralize the subject.”
“Mistakes were made and it should have never happened that way and we can’t allow that to ever happen … this set our profession back a decade,” McCraw told state senators. “The officers had weapons, the children had none. The officers had body armor, the children had none. The officers had training, the subject had none.”
According to investigators, Arredondo treated the shooting as a barricade situation and not an active shooter. Typically, cops are supposed to confront a mass shooter as quick as possible to avoid more casualties.
This month, he told The Texas Tribune that he did not think he was the commanding officer on that day and that he was not aware of the 911 calls, even from students in the classroom, that came in while police were waiting for over an hour to take the gunman down.
“We responded to the information that we had and had to adjust to whatever we faced,” Arredondo said. “Our objective was to save as many lives as we could, and the extraction of the students from the classrooms by all that were involved saved over 500 of our Uvalde students and teachers before we gained access to the shooter and eliminated the threat.”
Now that more information has come out about the horrible shooting in Uvalde, Texas, it’s become apparent that the police present that day bear some responsibility for the deaths that occurred. Arredondo was a major player in that. Do you think he should be fired from his job over it? Let us know your thoughts.