Pete Arredondo, the police chief of the Uvalde, Texas, college district, was positioned on administrative depart Wednesday amid criticism concerning the legislation enforcement response to the massacre at Robb Elementary School that left 19 kids and two academics useless final month.
Hal Harrell, superintendent of the Uvalde Consolidated Impartial College District, stated that, though the district initially deliberate to attend till investigations of the taking pictures have been accomplished earlier than making personnel choices, his workplace was “nonetheless with out particulars” and had made the choice to take away Arredondo from responsibility whereas these inquiries proceed.
“Due to the dearth of readability that is still and the unknown timing of when I’ll obtain the outcomes of the investigations, I’ve made the choice to put Chief Arredondo on administrative depart efficient on this date,” Harrell stated in a press release.
It’s unclear if Arredondo’s depart is paid or unpaid. He will likely be changed by Lt. Mike Hernandez.
The chief has come below fierce scrutiny after the Might 24 mass taking pictures amid studies that officers from a number of businesses shortly arrived on the college to confront the gunman however then took greater than an hour to enter the classroom the place he had holed up.
The top of the Texas Division of Public Security, Col. Steve McCraw, excoriated legislation enforcement this week, saying their response was an “abject failure” and that police “determined to put the lives of officers earlier than the lives of kids.” McCraw stated there have been sufficient officers on scene three minutes after the shooter entered the varsity to cease him, including that police never checked the classroom door to see if it was locked, as an alternative ready greater than an hour for a key.
“The officers had weapons; the youngsters had none,” McCraw advised The Texas Tribune this week. “The officers had physique armor; the youngsters had none. The officers had coaching; the topic had none. One hour, 14 minutes and eight seconds. That’s how lengthy kids waited, and the academics waited, in Room 111 to be rescued.”
Arredondo has been described because the incident commander on scene throughout the assault, however the chief stated he didn’t consider himself in charge because the taking pictures unfolded. He’s defended the actions of officers, saying his objective was to get to the varsity “as quick as doable, get rid of any threats, and shield the scholars and workers.”
“Not a single responding officer ever hesitated, even for a second, to place themselves in danger to avoid wasting the youngsters,” Arredondo told the Tribune in an interview this month. “We responded to the data that we had and needed to alter to no matter we confronted.”
Arredondo, who was elected to the Uvalde Metropolis Council on Might 7, was just lately denied a depart of absence from his council function as investigations into the taking pictures proceed. The Metropolis Council stated he could possibly be faraway from his seat if he missed the following two conferences.