HOUSTON — The chief of the college district police drive in Uvalde, Texas, was positioned on administrative go away after the state’s prime police official faulted him for delaying the confrontation with a gunman at Robb Elementary College final month, the college district mentioned on Wednesday.
Chief Pete Arredondo was among the many first officers to reach on the faculty after the capturing started on Might 24. In response to the director of the state police, Steven McCraw, he was additionally the incident commander for the response, which Mr. McCraw referred to as an “abject failure.”
Although officers from a number of businesses entered the college minutes after a gunman opened fireplace in two linked lecture rooms, they waited greater than an hour earlier than confronting and killing him. Nineteen students and two teachers had been killed within the assault.
The college district’s superintendent, Hal Harrell, mentioned in a news release that he had deliberate to “wait till the investigation was full earlier than making personnel choices.” However he mentioned he in the end made the choice to place the chief on go away as a result of “of the shortage of readability that is still and the unknown timing of when I’ll obtain the outcomes.”
The capturing and the police response is at the moment the topic of a number of investigations, together with by Mr. McCraw’s Division of Public Security, the U.S. Justice Division and a particular committee of the Texas Legislature.
Lt. Mike Hernandez will take over the position of chief for the division, Dr. Harrell mentioned. It has six uniformed members and jurisdiction on the faculties in Uvalde.
Chief Arredondo has defended his decision-making, and mentioned in an interview this month that he didn’t consider he was in command of the response at Robb Elementary College. The regulation agency representing him declined additional touch upon Wednesday.
A day earlier than the college district’s resolution, Chief Arredondo was denied a go away of absence by the Uvalde Metropolis Council, to which he was elected shortly earlier than the capturing. He has not appeared at public conferences for the reason that assault and with out the go away might be compelled to relinquish his Council seat after three missed conferences.
Forward of the vote on Tuesday evening, some Uvalde dad and mom and residents addressed the Council and spoke forcefully in opposition to Chief Arredondo.
“We’re having to beg y’all to do one thing to get this man out of our faces,” mentioned Berlinda Arreola, the grandmother of Amerie Joe Garza, during the meeting, carrying a shirt that includes her late granddaughter. “He failed us. Don’t make the identical mistake he made and fail us too.”
Because the Council signaled that it could deny Chief Arredondo’s go away of absence, many within the crowd cheered and applauded.