Uvalde police chief Pete Arredondo put on leave following Robb Elementary School shooting response

Uvalde police chief Pete Arredondo put on leave following Robb Elementary School shooting response

Uvalde school district’s police chief has been put on administrative leave following allegations he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, in Texas, which left 19 students and two teachers dead.

Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Hal Harrell said he put police chief Pete Arredondo on leave and another officer would assume the embattled chief’s duties.

In a statement, Mr Harrell did not give a reason for removing Chief Arredondo but said it remains unclear when district officials will know the outcome of the investigation into the shooting.

Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Colonel Steven McCraw, told a state senate hearing on Tuesday that Chief Arredondo — the on-site commander — made “terrible decisions” as the massacre unfolded on May 24.

He said 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, Colonel McCraw tested.

Yet, police officers armed with rifles waited in a school hallway for more than an hour while the gunman carried out the massacre.

Man in uniform stands in front of mic
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw called the police response an “abject failure”.((AP Photo/Wong Maye-E))

Colonel McCraw said 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.

According to Colonel McCraw, 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 Chief 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,” he said.

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