Pete Arredondo, Uvalde Faculty District Police Chief, Is Placed on Depart

Pete Arredondo, Uvalde Faculty District Police Chief, Is Placed on Depart

HOUSTON (AP) — The chief of the varsity district police pressure in Uvalde, Texas, has been positioned on administrative go away after the state’s high police officer blamed him for delaying a confrontation with a gunman at Robb Elementary Faculty on final month, the varsity district mentioned Wednesday.

Chief Pete Arredondo was one of many first officers to reach on the faculty after the capturing started on Might 24. In accordance with state police director Steven McCraw, he was additionally the incident commander for the response, which Mr. McCraw referred to as “abject failure.”

Though officers from a number of businesses entered the varsity minutes after a gunman opened hearth in two linked school rooms, they waited greater than an hour earlier than confronting and killing him. Nineteen college students and two academics had been killed within the assault.

Faculty district Superintendent Hal Harrell mentioned in a information launch that he had deliberate to “wait till the investigation is full earlier than making any personnel choices.” However he mentioned he finally made the choice to droop the chief because of “the dearth of readability that continues to be and the unknown timing of when I’ll obtain the outcomes.”

The capturing and police response are at the moment the topic of a number of investigations, together with by Mr. McCraw’s Division of Public Security, the US Division of Justice and a particular committee of the Texas Legislature.

Lt. Mike Hernandez will assume the position of division chief, Dr. Harrell mentioned. He has six uniformed officers and jurisdiction over the Uvalde faculties.

Chief Arredondo has defended his decision-making, saying in an interview this month that he did not assume he was in command of the response at Robb Elementary Faculty. The regulation agency representing him declined to remark additional Wednesday.

A day earlier than the varsity district’s choice, the Uvalde Metropolis Council denied Chief Arredondo a go away of absence, for which he was elected shortly earlier than the capturing. He has not appeared in public conferences for the reason that assault and, with out his authorization, he might be pressured to resign his seat on the Council after three missed conferences.

Previous to Tuesday night time’s vote, some Uvalde mother and father and residents addressed the Council and spoke out strongly in opposition to Chief Arredondo.

“We’ve got to beg everybody to do one thing to get this man out of our faces,” Berlinda Arreola, the grandmother of Amerie Joe Garza, mentioned through the assembly, carrying a T-shirt together with her late granddaughter’s image on it. “He failed us. Do not make the identical mistake he did and fail us too.”

When the Council signaled that it will deny Chief Arredondo’s go away of absence, many within the crowd cheered and clapped.

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