DALLAS (AP) — The Uvalde college district’s police chief was placed on depart Wednesday following allegations that he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 college students and two lecturers useless.

Uvalde Consolidated Unbiased College District Superintendent Hal Harrell stated that he put schools police Chief Pete Arredondo on administrative depart as a result of the information of what occurred stay unclear. In an announcement, Harrell didn’t handle Arredondo’s actions as on-site commander through the assault however stated he did not know when particulars of federal, state and native investigations into the regulation enforcement response to the slayings can be revealed.

“From the beginning of this horrible event, I shared that the district would wait until the investigation was complete before making personnel decisions,” Harrell stated. “Because of the lack of clarity that remains and the unknown timing of when I will receive the results of the investigations, I have made the decision to place Chief Arredondo on administrative leave effective on this date.”

A spokesperson for the Uvalde college district, Anne Marie Espinoza, declined to say whether or not Arredondo would proceed to be paid whereas on depart.

One other officer will assume the embattled chief’s duties, Harrell stated.

Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Division of Public Security, informed a state Senate listening to on Tuesday that Arredondo made “terrible decisions” because the bloodbath unfolded on Could 24 , and that the police response was an “abject failure.”

Three minutes after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the varsity, adequate armed regulation enforcement had been on scene to cease the gunman, McCraw testified. But cops armed with rifles waited in a college hallway for greater than an hour whereas the gunman carried out the bloodbath. The classroom door could not be locked from the within, however there is no such thing as a indication officers tried to open the door whereas the gunman was inside, McCraw stated.

McCraw has stated parents begged police outside the school to maneuver in and college students contained in the classroom repeatedly pleaded with 911 operators for help whereas greater than a dozen officers waited in a hallway. Officers from different companies urged Arredondo to allow them to transfer in as a result of kids had been in peril.

“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 stated.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin pushed back on McCraw’s testimony casting blame on Arredondo, saying the Division of Public Security has repeatedly put out false details about the capturing and glossed over the function of its personal officers.

McLaughlin known as Tuesday’s Senate listening to a “clown show” and stated he heard nothing from McCraw about state troopers’ involvement, despite the fact that McLaughlin stated their quantity within the college hallway at factors through the slaughter surpassed that of every other regulation enforcement company.

Delays within the police response because the capturing was taking place has grow to be the main target of ongoing investigations and public outcry. Regulation enforcement has at instances supplied complicated and typically contradictory particulars and timelines which have drawn anger and frustration.

The Uvalde Metropolis Council on Tuesday voted unanimously towards giving Arredondo — who’s a council member — a depart of absence from showing at public conferences. Family members of the capturing victims had pleaded with metropolis leaders to as a substitute hearth him.

“Please, please, we’re begging you, get this man out of our lives,” stated Berlinda Arreola, the grandmother of Amerie Jo Garza, a 10-year-old who was fatally shot within the assault.

Sen. Paul Bettencourt informed the state Senate listening to that Arredondo ought to have stepped down right away.

“This man should have removed himself from the job immediately because, just looking at his response, he was incapable of it,” Bettencourt stated.

Arredondo and his lawyer have declined repeated requests for remark from The Related Press and didn’t instantly reply to an inquiry Wednesday about his depart.

Arredondo has tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he didn’t contemplate himself the commander in command of operations and that he assumed another person had taken management of the regulation enforcement response. He stated he didn’t have his police and campus radios however that he used his cellphone to name for tactical gear, a sniper and the classroom keys.

It’s nonetheless not clear why it took so long for police to enter the classroom, how they communicated with each other through the assault, and what their physique cameras present.

Officers have declined to launch extra particulars, citing the investigation.

Arredondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent a lot of his almost 30-year profession in regulation enforcement within the metropolis. He took the top police job on the college district in 2020 and was sworn in as a member of the Metropolis Council in a closed-door ceremony Could 31.


Discover extra AP protection of the Uvalde college capturing:

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