Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo resigns from City Council seat

Sheriff Pete Arredondo shakes hands with Texas resigned from his seat on the Uvalde City Council, about a month after sworn.

The Leader Uvalde-News was the first to report on Arredondo’s plans to resign in the early hours of Saturday afternoon.

Uvalde city leaders said they received his official resignation letter on Saturday afternoon after hearing from the local newspaper.

“After much consideration, it is in the best interest of the community to resign as a member of the District 3 City Council to minimize further distractions,” Arredondo said in his letter. “The Mayor, City Council and City Staff must continue to move forward to unite our community, once again.”

News of his resignation comes after Arredondo became a central figure in a series of tactical blunders, including his decision to avoid a confrontation with an 18-year-old gunman, in response to a mass shooting. at Robb Elementary School, killing 19 children and two teachers. died on 24/5.

NBC News reached out to Arredondo’s attorney, but received no response.

Arredondo was elected to represent District 3 on the Uvalde City Council on May 7 and was officially sworn in a week after the school shooting.

He will step down from the city council about a week after the Uvalde Unified Independent School District granted him administrative leave on June 22.

Hal Harrell, the director of the Uvalde school system, said in a statement that he was waiting for investigations into the mass shooting to be completed when Arredondo was arrested. get a leave of absence.

“Today, I still don’t know the details of the investigations being conducted by the various agencies,” he said. “Given the lack of clarity that remains and the unknown time when I will receive the results of the investigation, I have made the decision to take Sheriff Arredondo on administrative leave effective this date.”

Lieutenant Mike Hernandez took over as commander in chief, Harrell said.

State authorities have described Arredondo as the incident leader in the school massacre. Arredondo has said that he does not consider himself in charge.

Officials said Arredondo incorrectly treated the gunman as a barricaded suspect rather than an active gunman. After more than an hour, federal agent Enter the room and shoot the shooter dead.

Federal and state agencies is investigating the police response.

City, state, and federal law enforcement officials are also on campus. A group of SWAT-like agents from US Customs and Border Protection eventually entered the classroom and killed the gunman.

Texas Department of Public Safety Colonel Steve McCraw on June 21 described the police actions as a “major failure” in the senate committee hearing.

He told lawmakers: “We know this, there is compelling evidence that the law enforcement response to the Robb primary school attack has been a crushing and contradictory failure. with everything we’ve learned in the last two decades since the Columbine massacre.” in Austin.

During the hearing, McCraw said the classroom where the shooter was hiding was unlocked. After the shooting, it was widely reported that the police were not allowed to break into the classrooms and find the keys because the doors were locked.

An hour, 14 minutes and eight seconds had passed from the time police entered the building until the gunman was killed, according to McCraw and a published timeline.

“The only thing blocking the corridors of dedicated officers from Rooms 111 and 112 was the commander at the scene, who decided to put the lives of the officers before the lives of the children,” he said. “Officers have weapons. The kids don’t. The officers have armor. The kids don’t. The officers have been trained. Subjects don’t have.”

Law enforcement officers and at least one ballistic shield were on the campus about 19 minutes after the gunman entered the classroom, according to McCraw and the timeline.

Arredondo has generally avoided the media since the bloodshed on the Uvalde campus. But he told Texas Tribes in June that officers never “hesitating, even for a moment, to put themselves at risk.”

Arredondo, who took over as the school district’s sheriff in 2020, also told The Tribune that he considers himself a frontline responder – not a broader response manager.

“I didn’t give any orders,” he told The Tribune. “I called support and asked for a miner to open the door.”

According to The Tribune, once Arredondo determined he couldn’t enter class with the gunman inside, he called the police from his cell phone and asked for a tactical unit, snipers, and a extortion tool to open the door.

Arredondo’s attorney, George Hyde, told The Tribune: “It’s not someone who says stand down. “It’s, ‘Right now, we can’t get in until we have the tools. So we’re going to do what we can to save lives.” And what is that? It is to evacuate students, parents and teachers from the room. “

Arredondo was elected to the Uvalde City Council on May 7, and he was sworn in in a private ceremony on May 31, a week after the shooting. There was supposed to be a board meeting that day, but it was canceled because of the shooting.

When the board reconvened for a special emergency meeting a week later, on June 7, Mr can’t show up.

Arredondo also failed to attend a meeting on June 21, at which the board unanimously refused to approve his request for leave in future board meetings.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said at the same board meeting, Robb would be torn down because, “You can never ask a child to go back or a teacher to go back to that school.”

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