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Uvalde school police chief on leave after mass shooting

Uvalde school police chief on leave after mass shooting

DALLAS (AP) — The Uvalde college district’s police chief was placed on depart Wednesday following allegations that he erred in his response to the mass taking pictures at Robb Elementary Faculty that left 19 college students and two academics useless.

Uvalde Consolidated Impartial Faculty District Superintendent Hal Harrell stated that he put colleges police Chief Pete Arredondo on administrative depart as a result of the info of what occurred stay unclear. In an announcement, Harrell didn’t handle Arredondo’s actions as on-site commander through the assault however stated he did not know when particulars of a number of investigations into the legislation enforcement response to the slayings could be revealed.

“From the start of this horrible occasion, I shared that the district would wait till the investigation was full earlier than making personnel choices,” Harrell stated. “Due to the shortage of readability that continues to be and the unknown timing of when I’ll obtain the outcomes of the investigations, I’ve made the choice to position Chief Arredondo on administrative depart efficient on this date.”

A spokesperson for the Uvalde college district, Anne Marie Espinoza, declined to say whether or not Arredondo would proceed to be paid whereas on depart.

One other officer will assume the embattled chief’s duties, Harrell stated.

Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Division of Public Security, instructed a state Senate listening to on Tuesday that Arredondo made “horrible choices” because the bloodbath unfolded on Could 24 , and that the police response was an “abject failure.”

Three minutes after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the college, enough armed legislation enforcement have been on scene to cease the gunman, McCraw testified. But law enforcement officials armed with rifles waited in a college hallway for greater than an hour whereas the gunman carried out the bloodbath. The classroom door couldn’t be locked from the within, however there isn’t a indication officers tried to open the door whereas the gunman was inside, McCraw stated.

McCraw has stated dad and mom begged police exterior the college to maneuver in and college students contained in the classroom repeatedly pleaded with 911 operators for assist whereas greater than a dozen officers waited in a hallway. Officers from different businesses urged Arredondo to allow them to transfer in as a result of youngsters have been at risk.

“The one factor stopping a hallway of devoted officers from coming into Room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who determined to position the lives of officers earlier than the lives of youngsters,” McCraw stated.

Sen. Paul Bettencourt instructed the state Senate listening to that Arredondo ought to have stepped down right away.

“This man ought to have eliminated himself from the job instantly as a result of, simply his response, he was incapable of it,” Bettencourt stated.

Arredondo and his lawyer have declined repeated requests for remark from The Related Press and didn’t instantly reply to an inquiry Wednesday about his depart.

Arredondo has tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he didn’t think about himself the commander accountable for operations and that he assumed another person had taken management of the legislation enforcement response. He stated he didn’t have his police and campus radios however that he used his cellphone to name for tactical gear, a sniper and the classroom keys.

It’s nonetheless not clear why it took so lengthy for police to enter the classroom, how they communicated with one another through the assault, and what their physique cameras present.

Officers have declined to launch extra particulars, citing the investigation.

Arredondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent a lot of his almost 30-year profession in legislation enforcement within the metropolis. He took the pinnacle police job on the college district in 2020 and was sworn in as a member of the Metropolis Council in a closed-door ceremony Could 31.


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Written by Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author.

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