Uvalde Police Chief On Leave After ‘Failure’ To Stop School Shooting
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Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde school district police chief, has been placed on administrative leave.
The director of the Texas Department of Public Safety called Arredondo’s response to last month’s elementary school shooting an ‘abject failure’.
It was found that police officers under Arredondo’s command waited 77 minutes before confronting gunman Salvador Ramos on 24 May, when Ramos entered the Robb Elementary School and opened fire on students, leaving 19 children and two teachers dead.
Superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell announced he would be excusing Arredondo of his duties in a press release published yesterday, 22 June.
Harrell wrote: “From the beginning of this horrible event, I shared that the district would wait until the investigation was complete before making personnel decisions.
“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.”
This week, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steve McCraw told state senators that Arredondo’s response was an ‘abject failure’.
He also testified that Arredondo put the lives of police ‘before the lives of children', the New York Post reports.
“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,” DPS Director Steve McCraw told lawmakers.
McCraw also said that nine officers were on the scene just three minutes after Ramos started shooting, enough law enforcement officials to ‘isolate, distract and neutralise the subject’.
McCraw added: “The officers had weapons, the children had none. The officers had body armour, the children had none. The officers had training, the subject had none.”
Ramos entered the school via an unlocked door and was able to gain access to two adjoining classrooms. It was there that he spent more than an hour killing students and teachers.
Security footage has since revealed that Arredondo and his officers didn’t attempt to get into the building until a tactical team arrived at the school, 77 minutes after Ramos started shooting.
According to investigators, Arredondo treated the shooting as a barricaded suspect incident, not an active shooter situation, a decision that proved to be a grave mistake.
In an active shooter situation, police officers’ top priority is to confront the suspect and try to stop the violence as soon as possible.
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