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Uvalde schools’ police chief resigns from City Council

The police chief of the Uvalde school district has resigned from his seat on the City Council just weeks after being sworn in amid allegations that he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 students and two teachers dead. Chief Pete Arredondo told the Uvalde Leader-News on Friday that he decided to step down for the good of city administration. He was elected to the District 3 city council seat on May 7 and was sworn in — in a closed-door ceremony — on May 31, just a week after the massacre.” I have decided to resign as a member of the city council for District 3. The mayor, city council and city staff must continue to move forward without distraction. I think this is the best decision for Uvalde,” Arredondo said. Arredondo, who has been on administrative leave from the school district since June 22, has declined repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press. His attorney, George Hyde, did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment Saturday. Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a state Senate hearing last month that Arredondo — the field commander — took “terrible decisions” as the May 24 massacre unfolded, and that the police response was a “miserable failure.” Three minutes after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the school, enough armed law enforcement was on the scene to stop the gunman, McCraw testified.However, officers armed with rifles stood and waited in the school hallway for more than an hour, while o the gunman carried out the massacre. The classroom door could not be locked from the inside, but there is no indication that officers tried to open the door while the gunman was inside, McCraw said. with 911 operators to assist while more than a dozen officers waited in a hallway. Officers from other agencies urged Arredondo to let them move because the children were at risk.” McCraw said. Arredondo tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he did not consider himself a commander responsible for operations and that he assumed someone else had taken control of the law enforcement response.He said he did not have the police and campus radio but used his cell phone to call for tactical equipment, a sniper and the keys of the classroom. It’s still unclear why it took so long for police to enter the classroom, how they communicated with each other during the attack, and what their body cameras show. Officials declined to provide more details, citing the investigation. Arredondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent much of his nearly 30-year career in the law enforcement in the city.

The police chief of the Uvalde school district has resigned from his seat on the City Council just weeks after being sworn in amid allegations that he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

Chief Pete Arredondo told the Uvalde Leader-News on Friday that he decided to step down for the good of city administration. He was elected to the District 3 council seat on May 7 and was sworn in — in a closed-door ceremony — on May 31, just a week after the massacre.

“After much thought, I regret to inform those who voted for me that I have decided to resign as a member of the city council for District 3. The mayor, city council and city staff must continue to move forward without distraction. I feel that she is the best decision for Uvalde,” Arredondo said.

Arredondo, who has been on administrative leave from the school district since June 22, has declined repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press. His attorney, George Hyde, did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment Saturday.

Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a Senate hearing last month that Arredondo — the commander on the scene — made “terrible decisions” as the May 24 massacre unfolded and that the police response was a ” big failure”.

Three minutes after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the school, several armed law enforcement officers were on the scene to stop the gunman, McCraw testified. However, police armed with rifles stood and waited in the school hallway for more than an hour while the gunman carried out the massacre. The classroom door could not be locked from the inside, but there is no indication that officers tried to open the door while the gunman was inside, McCraw said.

McCraw said parents begged police outside the school to come in, and students inside the classroom repeatedly called 911 operators for help while more than a dozen officers waited in a hallway. Officers from other agencies urged Arredondo to let them move because children were at risk.

“The only thing that stopped a corridor of dedicated officers from entering rooms 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to put the lives of the officers before the lives of the children,” McCraw said.

Arredondo tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he did not consider himself the head of operations and that he assumed someone else had taken control of the law enforcement response. He said he didn’t have the police and campus radios, but used his cell phone to request tactical gear, a sniper and classroom keys.

It is still unclear why it took so long for police to enter the classroom, how they communicated with each other during the attack and what their body cameras show.

Officials declined to provide further details, citing the investigation.

Arredondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent much of his nearly 30-year law enforcement career in the city.

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