Uvalde school board fires police chief criticized for shooting response

LUBBOCK: Uvalde, TexasThe school board on Wednesday fired the school district’s chief of police for its much-criticized handling of a shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers in the city three months ago.
The Uvalde Independent School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to dismiss Pete Arredondobefore the applause of the families of the victims who attended. Arredondowho leads a small police force tasked with patrolling school grounds, has been on unpaid administrative leave since the May 24 shooting.
Arredondo did not attend the meeting. A written statement from his attorney, George Hyde, was emailed to board members shortly before the board met. It cited death threats Arredondo had received and what it said was the district’s lack of efforts to provide any protection for him.
Hyde also wrote that the district was wrong to fire Arredondo, saying it did not conduct any investigations that “established evidence in support of the decision to terminate” him.
Arredondo has been harshly criticized for his handling of the massacre at Robbie Elementary School in Uvalde, a small town in the Texas Hill Country, about 80 miles (129 km) west of San Antonio.
Parents of children killed and injured in the deadliest mass shooting in America in nearly a decade have asked the school board to fire Arredondo.
He was forced to resign from the Uvalde City Council on July 2. Three weeks later, the council was scheduled to decide Arredondo’s fate as the school district’s sheriff, but the meeting was postponed. due to “process requirements” at his request. lawyer.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Arredondo serves as the “incident commander” in charge of law enforcement’s response to the shooting.
DPS officials said 19 officers waited an hour in a hallway outside adjacent classrooms where the gunman was hiding with his victims before a tactical team led by the US Border Patrol finally infiltrated and killed the suspect.
Arredondo, they said, chose not to send officers to confront the suspect sooner, believing the immediate threat to students had lessened after the first volley of gunfire in the classroom.
Arredondo, who oversaw the six-member police force before being fired, said he never considered himself the commander of the incident and he did not order police to hold back from storming the location. of the suspect.

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