Uvalde schools police chief Pete Arredondo plans to step down from City Council seat

1 month ago

Law enforcement enactment during a wide shooting astatine Robb Elementary School wherever a gunman killed nineteen children and 2 adults successful Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2022.

Pete Luna | Uvalde Leader-News | via Reuters

Embattled Texas Police Chief Pete Arredondo is reportedly resigning from his spot successful the Uvalde City Council, astir a period aft being sworn successful to the position.

Arredondo told the Uvalde Leader-News Friday.

"After overmuch consideration, I regret to pass those who voted for maine that I person decided to measurement down arsenic a subordinate of the metropolis assembly for District 3. The mayor, the metropolis council, and the metropolis unit indispensable proceed to determination guardant without distractions. I consciousness this is the champion determination for Uvalde," Arredondo told the Uvalde Leader-News.

The quality of his resignation comes aft Arredondo became the cardinal fig successful a bid of tactical mistakes, including the determination to debar confronting an 18-year-old gunman, successful responding to the wide shooting astatine Robb Elementary School that near 19 children and 2 teachers dormant connected May 24.

NBC News has reached retired to Arredondo's attorney.

Texas State Senator Ronald Gutierrez told NBC News Saturday that Arredondo has not officially communicated his resignation plans to metropolis leadership.

In a connection Saturday, Uvalde metropolis enactment said they archetypal learned astir Arredondo's resignation plans from the Uvalde Leader-News.

"While it is the close happening to do, nary 1 from the City has seen a missive oregon immoderate different documentation of his resignation, oregon spoken with him," the connection said. "When the City receives confirmation of Councilman Arredondo's resignation, the City volition code the Council spot vacancy."

Arredondo was elected to correspond District 3 successful the Uvalde City Council connected May 7 and officially sworn successful a week aft the schoolhouse shooting.

His plans to measurement down from the metropolis assembly travel astir a week aft the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District placed him connected administrative permission connected June 22.

Hal Harrell, the superintendent of the Uvalde schoolhouse system, had said successful a connection helium was waiting connected investigations into the wide shootings to beryllium completed erstwhile Arredondo was placed connected leave.

"Today, I americium inactive without details of the investigations being conducted by assorted agencies," helium said. "Because of the deficiency of clarity that remains and the chartless timing of erstwhile I volition person the results of the investigations, I person made the determination to spot Chief Arredondo connected administrative permission effectual connected this date."

Lt. Mike Hernandez took implicit duties of chief, Harrell said.

State authorities person described Arredondo arsenic the incidental commandant during the schoolhouse carnage. Arredondo has said helium did not see himself to beryllium the serviceman successful charge.

Officials person said Arredondo incorrectly treated the gunman arsenic a barricaded fishy alternatively of an progressive shooter. After much than an hour, federal agents entered the country and fatally changeable the gunman.

Federal and authorities agencies are investigating the constabulary response.

City, authorities and national instrumentality enforcement officers were besides contiguous connected the campus. A SWAT-like squad of agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection yet entered the schoolroom and killed the gunman.

Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steve McCraw on June 21 described constabulary actions arsenic an "abject failure" during a legislature committee hearing.

"We bash cognize this, there's compelling grounds that the instrumentality enforcement effect to the onslaught astatine Robb Elementary was an abject nonaccomplishment and antithetical to everything we've learned implicit the past 2 decades since the Columbine massacre," helium told lawmakers in Austin.

During the hearing, McCraw said the schoolroom wherever the shooter was holed up was unlocked. It was wide reported aft the shooting that constabulary were kept from breaking into the classrooms and were looking for keys due to the fact that the doors were locked.

One hour, 14 minutes and 8 seconds passed from the clip constabulary entered the gathering until the gunman was killed, according to McCraw and a released timeline.

"The lone happening stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from Room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commandant who decided to spot the lives of officers earlier the lives of children," helium said. "The officers person weapons. The children had none. The officers had assemblage armor. The children had none. The officers had training. The taxable had none."

Law enforcement officers and astatine slightest 1 ballistic shield were successful the schoolhouse astir 19 minutes aft the gunman entered classrooms, according to McCraw and the timeline.

Arredondo has mostly avoided the media since the bloodshed connected the Uvalde campus. But helium told The Texas Tribune in June that officers ne'er "hesitated, adjacent for a moment, to enactment themselves astatine risk."

Arredondo, who took implicit arsenic constabulary main for the schoolhouse territory successful 2020, besides told The Tribune helium considered himself a front-line responder — not the idiosyncratic managing the broader response.

"I didn't contented immoderate orders," helium told The Tribune. "I called for assistance and asked for an extraction instrumentality to unfastened the door."

According to The Tribune, erstwhile Arredondo determined helium could not participate the schoolroom with the gunman inside, helium dialed constabulary dispatch from his cellphone and asked for a tactical unit, snipers and an extrication instrumentality to unfastened the door.

"It's not that idiosyncratic said basal down," Arredondo's lawyer, George Hyde, told The Tribune. "It was, 'Right now, we can't get successful until we get the tools. So we're going to bash what we tin bash to prevention lives.' And what was that? It was to evacuate the students and the parents and the teachers retired of the rooms."

Arredondo was elected to the Uvalde City Council connected May 7, and helium was sworn successful during a backstage ceremonial May 31, a week aft the shooting. There was expected to beryllium a assembly gathering that day, but it was canceled due to the fact that of the shooting.

When the assembly reconvened for a peculiar exigency gathering a week later, connected June 7, he failed to amusement up.

Arredondo besides did not be a gathering connected June 21 astatine which the assembly unanimously declined to assistance his petition for a permission of lack from aboriginal assembly meetings.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said during the aforesaid assembly gathering Robb would beryllium demolished because, "You tin ne'er inquire a kid to spell backmost oregon a teacher to spell backmost successful that schoolhouse ever."