Uvalde police chief resigns city council position after being a no-show at meetings surrounding school shooting

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UVALDE, TX – Pete Arredondo is stepping down after only one month on the Uvalde City Council.

He was sworn in just one week after the tragedy that unfolded at Robb Elementary School, where 19 students and 2 teachers were gunned down. His resignation came just two days after family members of the victims called on the council to remove him if he didn’t quit.

Arredondo is also the police chief for the school district’s six man department.

He was sworn in behind closed doors. Shortly after, he requested a leave of absence, but it was denied.

Arredondo has not attended a single meeting during his short tenure. The council has been meeting, in one form or another, almost daily as the state continues to conduct hearings into what actually occurred at Robb on May 14th and why law enforcement didn’t act sooner.

The Uvalde Leader-News shared one version of his resignation letter.

After much consideration, I regret to inform those who voted for me that I have decided to step down as a member of the city council for District 3. The mayor, the city council, and the city staff must continue to move forward without distractions. I feel this is the best decision for Uvalde,” Arredondo said. 

As we continue to grieve over the tragedy that occurred on May 24th, we pray for the families involved and our community. Uvalde has a rich history of loving and supporting thy neighbor and we must continue to do so.

In speaking with other communities that have had similar tragedies, the guidance has been the same… continue to support the families, continue to support our community, and definitely, to keep our faith. 

As I think about my life, from growing up as a child and to adulthood, Uvalde has held an attraction that is very unique.  At the center of that attraction, is our community members. Together, we will keep Uvalde strong. Uvalde strong, Uvalde home.

As reported by the SF Gate, his resignation comes after many in the small west Texas town have called for him to step down from both his role on the council as well as his position with the district.  Uvalde Consolidated Schools placed Arredondo on administrative leave on June 22.

State officials have continued to question his inaction and lack of leadership and decision-making as the incident commander at Robb.

“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” Col. Steven McCraw said.

McCraw is the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Arredondo continues to deny that he was the incident commander.

He said he assumed that someone else from another agency had taken charge. He didn’t even bring his police or campus radio, and he only communicated via cell phone.

While body camera footage has not been released, video from the school district’s video surveillance system shows officers standing at the ready in the hallway for almost an hour.

Arredondo said that he had to get keys and it took him a substantial amount of time to figure out which key unlocked those doors.

McCraw said that the doors to those classes could not be locked from the inside. Surveillance shows that no officers attempted to check the doors to see if they could gain entry, even as students inside were on their phones pleading with operators to send help.

The investigation continues to determine who is responsible for the lack of action.

Unless further actions are taken by the school district or Arredondo, he will continue to make his annual salary of $90,750, which is $3000 better than the city police chief Daniel Rodriguez, and $13,000 higher than Uvalde County Sheriff Ruben Nolasco.

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Uvalde school district police chief says that he did not consider himself to be the incident commander during the mass shooting

UVALDE, TX- In the aftermath of the horrific elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the school police chief has been widely criticized for his actions and in his first extensive interview said that he did not consider himself to be the person in charge as the massacre unfolded.

Pete Arredondo, the police chief of the Uvalde school district stated that he assumed someone else was in charge and that he intentionally left behind both his police and campus radios before entering Robb Elementary School. Arredondo said in a statement:

“The only thing that was important to me at this time was to save as many teachers and children as possible.”

He reportedly spent more than an hour in the hallway of Robb Elementary School as he used his cell phone to call for tactical gear, a sniper, and keys to get inside. When the keys arrived, he tried dozens of them, but one by one they failed to work. He added:

“Each time I tried a key, I was just praying.”

Finally, 77 minutes after the mass shooting began, officers were able to unlock the door and fatally shoot the gunman.

According to the Texas Tribune, aside from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Arredondo is the only other law enforcement official to publicly tell his account of the police response to the deadly shooting.

Since the shooting, Arredondo’s actions have come under intensifying scrutiny from state officials and experts trained in mass shooting responses.

Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, stated that the school police chief, whom he described as the “incident commander,” made the wrong decision to not order officers to breach the classroom more quickly to confront the gunman.

However, Arredondo said that he believed that carrying radios would slow him down as he entered the school and that he also knew the radios did not work in some of the buildings.

He also said that he never considered himself the scene’s “incident commander” and did not give any instruction that police should not attempt to breach the building. He added:

“I didn’t issue any orders. I called for assistance and asked for an extraction tool to open the door.”

He insisted that the steps he took were the ones he thought would best protect lives at his hometown school, one he had attended himself as a young boy. He said:

“My mind was to get there as fast as possible, eliminate any threats, and protect the students and staff.”

Arredondo noted that some 500 students were safely evacuated during the crisis. As head of the six-member police force responsible for keeping Uvalde schools safe, Arredondo has been singled out for much of the blame, particularly by state officials.

They criticized him for failing to taking control of the police response and said he made the wrong decision that delayed officers from entering the classroom.

Arredondo has reportedly faced death threats and news crews have camped outside of his home, forcing him to go into hiding. He has been called cowardly and incompetent among other things. He said neither accusation is true or fair. He added:

“Not a single responding officer ever hesitated, even for a moment, to put themselves at risk to save the children. We responding to the information that we had and had to adjust to whatever we faced. Our objective was to save as many lives as we could, and the extraction of the students from the classrooms by all that were involved saved over 500 of our Uvalde students and teachers before we gained access to the shooter and eliminated the threat.”

Ten days after the shooting, the New York Times reported that a group of U.S. Border Patrol agents ignored a directive spoken into their earpieces not to enter the room. The Times has since reported that Arredondo did not object when the team entered the room.

George E. Hyde, Arredondo’s lawyer, said that if a directive delaying entry was issued, it did not come from Arredondo, but the Times reported that someone was issuing orders at the scene. Hyde said he did not know who that person was and the Border Patrol has declined to comment.

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FBI data on active shooter incidents for 2021 reveal that gun-controlled California led the country in mass shootings

June 6th, 2022

SACRAMENTO, CA- According to a report from Breitbart News, a Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI) report on “active shooter incidents” for the year 2021, shows that California was the number one state for such violent incidents.

The golden state had six active shooter incidents in total in 2021 and according another report from Everytown for Gun Safety, California is also the number one state for gun law strength.

The FBI report confirmed that there were 61 “active shooter incidents” across the United States in 2021 and 12 of those met the definition of a “mass killing.” California led the country with six active shooter incidents. According to the summary of the report:

“For the period 2017-2021, active shooter incident data reveals an upward trend: the number of active shooter incidents identified in 2021 represents a 52.5% increase from 2020 and a 96.8% increase from 2017.”

According to the report from Breitbart News, California has several state gun laws, including:

“…Universal background checks, an ‘assault weapons’ ban, a ‘high capacity magazine ban,’ a 10-day waiting period on gun purchases, a red flag law, gun registration requirements, a ‘good cause’ requirement for concealed carry permit issuance, a ban on carrying a gun on college campus for self-defense, a ban on K-12 teachers being armed on campus for classroom defense, a background check requirement for ammunition purchases, and a limit on the number of guns a law-abiding citizen can purchase in a given month, among other controls.”

In addition to the countless gun control laws the state has, new legislation introduced by Governor Gavin Newsom includes raising the minimum age for sales and transfers of firearms as well as investing state funds to support evidence-based community violence intervention strategies.

According to reports, California is now spending $11 million on education programs promoting wide use of “red flag” laws that are designed to temporarily take guns away from people who are deemed “at risk of harming themselves or others.”

https://fundourpolice.com/

California approved its “red flag” laws in 2014 after a mass shooting incident. It allows police, loved ones and others to ask judges to approve what are formally known as “gun violence restraining orders” that temporarily bar someone from possessing firearms if they are found to be a risk to themselves or others.

The new 18-month outreach program is designed to expand the use of “reg flag” laws. It includes:

“$5 million to local domestic violence organizations for community outreach; $5 million for a statewide education program, including to communities most at risk of gun violence in several languages; and $1 million to expand an existing San Diego-based program to provide education and training for district attorneys and law enforcement groups statewide.”

Even with all this, Everytown for Gun Safety states that in an average year, 3,160 people are still dying from guns in the state of California.

On May 15th, a gunman opened fire inside a church in Laguna Woods, killing one person and wounding five others. This shooting came just one day after a gunman killed 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

The mass shooting in Buffalo, New York came just two weeks before the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman killed 19 young children and two adults.

Data indicates that as of June 2022, California has had the most mass shootings in the United States, with 23 total mass shootings since 1982.

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