Uvalde schools’ police chief resigns from City Council

Jul 1, 2022, 10:44 PM | Updated: Jul 2, 2022, 1:53 pm
FILE - Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo, second from left, stands during a news conference...

FILE - Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo, second from left, stands during a news conference outside of the Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on May 26, 2022. The Uvalde school district’s police chief has stepped down from his position in the City Council just weeks after being sworn in following allegations that he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 students and two teachers dead. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, File)

(AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, File)

The Uvalde school district’s police chief has stepped down from his position in the City Council just weeks after being sworn in following 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 said in a letter dated Friday that he has decided to step down for the good of the city and “to minimize further distractions.” He was elected to the council on May 7 and was sworn in on May 31, just a week after the massacre, in a closed-door ceremony.

“The mayor, the city council, and the city staff must continue to move forward to unite our community once again,” Arredondo said in his resignation, first reported by the Uvalde Leader-News.

Arredondo, who has been on administrative leave from his school district position 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.

On June 21, the City Council voted unanimously to deny Arredondo a leave of absence from appearing at public meetings. Relatives of the shooting victims had pleaded with city leaders to fire him.

The Uvalde City Council released Arredondo’s resignation letter Saturday, after city officials received notification of his intent to step down via email, but did not comment further.

Representatives of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin have not responded to AP’s requests for comment.

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

Three minutes after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the school, sufficient armed law enforcement were on scene to stop the gunman, McCraw testified. Yet police officers armed with rifles stood and waited in a 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 officers tried to open the door while the gunman was inside, McCraw said.

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

“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” McCraw said.

Arredondo has tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he didn’t consider himself the commander in charge of operations and that he assumed someone else had taken control of the law enforcement response. He said he didn’t have his police and campus radios but that he used his cellphone to call for tactical gear, a sniper and the classroom keys.

It’s still not clear 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 have declined to release more details, citing the investigation.

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

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

2 hurt when helicopter crashes in yard of California home

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A helicopter spun out of control and crashed in the front yard of a home in central California, hurting a pilot and passenger, authorities said. The helicopter clipped the edge of the house and sheared off the top of a palm tree before crashing and coming to rest on its side […]
1 day ago
Gigi Hadid wears a creation for the Givenchy ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2023 fashion collection pr...
Associated Press

Glitzy Valentino show sees Paris Fashion Week at fever pitch

PARIS (AP) — Valentino’s Paris fashion show on Sunday saw black cars snared for blocks dropping off battalions of celebrities who, amid the commotion, just couldn’t find the entrance. Seated VIP guests were sweatily crammed in together inside the Le Marais’ Carreau du Temple venue, waiting as the show started an hour late. Outside, screaming […]
1 day ago
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Sosie Bacon, left, and and Jack Sochet in a scene f...
Associated Press

Horror pic ‘Smile’ happy at No. 1; ‘Bros’ starts in 4th

Moviegoing audiences chose the horror movie over the romantic comedy to kick off the month of October. Paramount’s ” Smile ” topped the North American charts with $22 million in ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday, leaving Billy Eichner’s rom-com “Bros” in the dust. Universal’s ” Bros ” launched with an estimated $4.8 million […]
1 day ago
FILE - This combo of undated file images provided by Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, left, and Jac...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: 3 more on trial in Michigan governor kidnap plot

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) — A scheme to kidnap Michigan’s governor in 2020 will get yet another airing in a different court when three men face trial Monday, just weeks before voters consider whether to reelect Gretchen Whitmer to a second term. Fourteen men were arrested two years ago, disrupting what one participant said was a […]
1 day ago
Tony Rivera carries items recovered from his family's waterlogged car through receding flood waters...
Associated Press

Poor Florida neighborhood battered by flood tries to recover

HARLEM HEIGHTS, Fla. (AP) — The Gladiolus Food Pantry usually hands out supplies on Wednesdays to about 240 families, so when Hurricane Ian swept through that day and canceled their distribution, it was left full of flats of canned black beans, bags of rice, meats, bread and produce — food that helps families struggling with […]
1 day ago
In this image made from video, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signs an application for ''a...
Associated Press

9 NATO members urge support for Ukraine after annexation

PRAGUE (AP) — The heads of nine European NATO members on Sunday issued a joint statement backing a path to membership for Ukraine in the U.S.-led security alliance, and calling on all 30 NATO nations to ramp up military aid for Kyiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise move Friday to apply for fast-track […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Uvalde schools’ police chief resigns from City Council