A distraught police chief of the Uvalde School District has been fired following allegations that he made several grave mistakes in the shooting at Robb Elementary School that killed 19 students and two teachers. .
The board of directors of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) unanimously dismissed police chief Pete Arredondo three months after the deadliest classroom shooting in US history.
“Cowards!” my parents yelled in Uvalde’s auditorium as the meeting began.
Mr. Arredondo is a co-pilot fired due to law enforcement’s hesitancy and fumbling response to the May 24 tragedy.
Lieutenant Mariano Pargas of the Uvalde Police Department, who was acting as the city’s police chief on the day of the massacre, is the only known person to have been taken off for action during the shooting.
Arredondo, who has been away from the school district since June 22, was under the tightest surveillance of some 400 police officers who rushed to the school, but waited more than an hour to confront the 18-year-old gunman. -Grade Classroom.
Most notably, Mr. Arredondo was criticized for not ordering officers to act sooner. Col. Steve McCullough, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Arredondo was in charge of the law enforcement response to the attack.
Mr. Arredondo did not attend because his career was in jeopardy.
Instead, minutes before the Uvalde School Board meeting began, Mr. Arredondo’s attorney released a scathing 4,500-word letter representing the police chief’s best defense to date for his actions.
The rebellious 17-plus-page Mr. Arredondo is a fumbling school police chief accused of wasting his time searching for keys to doors that were unordered and potentially unlocked in a state investigation. not. other students.
The letter also accused Uvalde’s school officials of endangering his life by not allowing him to carry a weapon to school board meetings.
“Secretary Arredondo was a leader and a courageous officer who, along with all other law enforcement officers who responded to the scene, should be celebrated for the lives saved rather than denigrating those who did not arrive in time. ‘ said the letter. .
Uvalde school officials have come under pressure from victims’ families and community members, many of whom are calling for Arredondo’s dismissal.
Hal Harrell of the Metropolitan Police Department had initially moved to dismiss Arredondo in July, but postponed the decision at the request of the police chief’s attorney.
The Texas Department of Public Safety, which had more than 90 state police officers at the scene, also launched an internal investigation into the state police response.
Uvalde CISD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.