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Uvalde school board postpones meeting on fate of district police chief Pete Arredondo

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The public school board in Uvalde, Texas, postponed a special meeting Friday to discuss the fate of district police chief Pete Arredondo, who has been accused by some of law enforcement’s delayed response to the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.

The board canceled the meeting scheduled for Saturday, citing Arredondo’s right to defend his actions that day, in which 19 children and two teachers were fatally shot amid a disorganized response from multi-agency law enforcement.

“In accordance with due process requirements, and at the request of his attorney, the meeting to consider Chief Arredondo’s termination will be held at a later date, which has yet to be determined,” district spokesman Anne Marie Espinoza said in a statement. declaration.

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District has placed Arredondo on paid leave on June 22 amid multiple investigations into law enforcement’s delayed response.

It took about 77 minutes between the arrival of the first officers and the moment when the police finally eliminated the gunman.

Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, blamed Arredondo, who he said was the commander of the incident. Arredondo’s division has six sworn employees, but much larger agencies were on the scene, including DPS officers and US Border Patrol agents.

“There were enough officers to do what needed to be done, with one exception: the incident commander at the time believed he needed more equipment and more officers to commit a tactical breach,” McCraw said three days after the incident. shooting.

Arredondo has defended himself by saying he didn’t know he was supposed to be the incident commander, and that he went to the classroom where shots were fired where he thought he could help.

However, he left his radios behind and stood by when a key to a classroom door was searched for, which took up valuable time.

Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center later noted in a report that a city police officer at the scene had their sights on the shooter but didn’t take the shot, possibly because a supervisor didn’t approve it in time.

In early July, Arredondo, acknowledging his lack of popularity in Uvalde, resigned from his elected seat on the city council, about a month after he was sworn in.

Anthony Cusumano contributed.


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