Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who was in command during law enforcement’s response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, was sworn in without a ceremony as a member of the city council on Tuesday.
“Out of respect for the families who buried their children today and plan to bury their children in the next few days, no ceremony was held,” Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said said in a statement.
Arredondo’s ascension to the city council comes just hours after the Texas Department of Public Safety said local police departments were not cooperating in the investigation into the massacre that killed 19 fourth-graders and two teachers.
The 50-year-old lawman has come under fire after stopping officers from breaching a classroom at school and confronting gunman Salvador Ramos, 18, for over an hour because he “believed he was killed by an active gunman.” had become a “barricaded issue,” and thought the children were not at risk, Texas Department of Public Safety director Steven McCraw said Friday.
McCraw said students and teachers repeatedly called 911 asking for help, while Arredondo told more than a dozen officers to wait in a hallway, which violates active shooter protocols.
The hesitant response has raised questions about whether more lives could have been saved had officials acted more quickly.
“It was the wrong decision,” McCraw said.
A spokesman for the Texas DPS told ABC News that Arredondo gave an initial interview for the investigation but did not respond to a request for a follow-up interview made two days ago.
Sources told the outlet that the decision to end the collaboration came after McCraw criticized the department’s response on Friday.
Arredondo, a native of Uvalde and a graduate of Uvalde High School, was elected to the council earlier this month. He spent most of his nearly 30-year law enforcement career in his hometown and returned in 2020 to take on the job of police chief in the school district.
The mayor announced on Monday that the swearing-in ceremony would not take place as originally planned. He said there was no way to delay or stop Arrendondo’s confirmation before the council.
“Pete Arredondo was duly elected to the city council,” the mayor said in Monday’s statement. “Nothing in the charter, the electoral code, or the Texas constitution prohibits him from taking the oath of office. To our knowledge, we are not aware of any investigations into Mr Arredondo at this time.”
With postal wires
https://nypost.com/2022/05/31/uvalde-schools-police-chief-pete-arredondo-sworn-into-city-council-after-texas-mass-shooting/ Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo has been sworn into the city council after a mass shooting in Texas