Uvalde superintendent recommends firing faculty district police chief Pete Arredondo

Dealing with huge public stress, Uvalde’s high faculty official has advisable the firing of the college district police chief who was central to the botched regulation enforcement response when a gunman killed two academics and 19 college students at an elementary faculty practically two months in the past.

At a particular assembly Saturday morning, the South Texas metropolis’s faculty board will hear from the college district’s lawyer about Superintendent Hal Harrell’s advice to fireside Chief Pete Arredondo, in accordance with a press release. Arredondo has been accused by state officers of creating a number of crucial errors through the Might 24 mass taking pictures at Robb Elementary College.

College officers have beforehand resisted calls to fireside Arredondo. The announcement comes days after a gathering the place faculty board members had been lambasted for greater than three hours by members of the general public, who accused them of not implementing primary safety at Robb, of not being clear about what occurred and of failing to carry Arredondo to account for his actions.

Brett Cross, an uncle of 10-year-old Uziyah Garcia, who was killed within the rampage, berated board members at size for not holding themselves accountable for the bloodbath. He notably challenged members for not understanding faculty exit doorways had been locked to the skin and for not firing Arredondo.

“If he isn’t fired by midday tomorrow, I need your resignation and each single one in every of these board members since you do not give a rattling about us or our youngsters,” Cross mentioned, addressing Harrell.

Confronted with dad and mom’ vociferous calls for to fireside Arredondo, Harrell mentioned Monday that the police chief was a contract worker who couldn’t be fired at will.

Arredondo, who has been on go away from the district since June 22, has confronted blistering criticism because the bloodbath, most notably for not ordering officers to right away breach the classroom the place an 18-year-old gunman carried out the assault. If fired, Arredondo would turn into the primary officer ousted from his job following the deadliest Texas faculty taking pictures in historical past.

Though practically 400 officers from varied businesses had been concerned within the police response that took greater than an hour to confront and kill the shooter, Arredondo is one in every of solely two recognized to have confronted self-discipline. His lawyer didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The transfer to probably fireplace the chief follows the discharge of a damning 80-page report by a Texas Home committee that blamed all ranges of regulation enforcement for a gradual and chaotic response regardless of practically 400 officers on the scene. The report particularly singles out Arredondo and faults him for losing “treasured time” through the bloodbath whereas trying to find a key to the classroom.

In accordance with the committee, Arredondo instructed lawmakers he did not contemplate himself the on-scene commander in cost and that his precedence was to guard youngsters in different lecture rooms. The committee report referred to as that call a “horrible, tragic mistake.”

The committee famous, nonetheless, that “Apart from the attacker, the Committee didn’t discover any ‘villains’ in the midst of its Investigation. There isn’t a one to whom we are able to attribute malice or in poor health motives. As an alternative, we discovered systemic failures and egregiously poor choice making.”

Physique digital camera footage launched by the Uvalde officers exhibits Arredondo within the hallway attempting a number of units of keys on different classroom doorways, however not the one the place the bloodbath occurred. The classroom door couldn’t be locked from the within, however there isn’t any indication officers tried to open the door whereas the gunman was inside.

“Our thought was: ‘If he comes out, you realize, you remove the menace,’ right?” Arredondo instructed the committee, in accordance with the report. “And simply the considered different youngsters being in different lecture rooms, my thought was: ‘We will not let him come again out. If he comes again out, we take him out, or we remove the menace.'”
Arredondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent a lot of his practically 30-year profession in regulation enforcement within the metropolis. He took the pinnacle police job on the faculty district in 2020 and was sworn in as a member of the Metropolis Council in a closed-door ceremony Might 31. He resigned from his council seat July 2.

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