On Wednesday, in the aftermath of the school shooting that cost the lives of 19 children and two adult teachers, Uvalde school district Police Chief Pete Arredondo was placed on leave, almost a month after his department bungled the response to the Robb Elementary School mass shooting.
Superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell excused Arredondo from his duties when it was discovered that police under his command waited 77 minutes before they confronted gunman Salvador Ramos during the May 24 massacre.
“From the beginning of this horrible event, I shared that the district would wait until the investigation was complete before making personnel decisions,” Superintendent Harrell wrote in a press release.
“Today, I am still without details of the investigations being conducted by various agencies. 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 this date.”
Testifying on Tuesday that Arredondo’s response to the shooting event at the middle school was an “abject failure,” the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steve McCraw said that the police chief put the lives of cops “before the lives of children.”
“Mistakes were made and it should have never happened that way and we can’t allow that to ever happen … this set our profession back a decade,” McCraw told state senators.
Ramos went through an unlocked door and gained access to adjoining classrooms, where she shot and murdered fourth graders for over an hour. Chief Arredondo and his officers never even attempted to gain access to the rooms until a tactical team arrived at the scene about 77 minutes after the shooting began, according to security footage.
McCraw told the senators that 9 police officers who were there three minutes after the shooting began had the numbers and momentum to “isolate, distract and neutralize the subject.”
“The officers had weapons, the children had none. The officers had body armor, the children had none. The officers had training, the subject had none,” McCraw testified under oath.
Arredondo made the mistake of treating the shooting incident as a barricaded suspect incident and not an active shooter incident where the main priority is for police to go after the shooter and stop the violence, according to investigators.
Ramos, the shooter, was eventually killed by police.
Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Lieutenant Mike Hernandez is set to assume Arrendondo’s duties temporarily, according to Harrell.
The chief requested a leave of absence from future Uvalde City Council meetings and was unanimously denied in an effort to be more transparent about the shooting incident. According to City Council rules, there’s a $2 fine for missing council meetings, and after three missed meetings, the other council members may vote to have the member removed from their seat. People who were attending the City Council meeting held on Tuesday broke out in cheers when the council denied his leave.
Rich is a conservative, syndicated opinion writer and owner of MAGA-Chat.com. He writes about politics, culture, liberty, and faith.
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