The Uvalde school district police chief accused of making the "wrong decision" during last week's school shooting has made his first public comments since the day of the massacre—but he didn't shed any light on his actions. Pedro "Pete" Arredondo told CNN Wednesday that he is in contact with the Texas Department of Public Safety "every day," though DPS says he has failed to respond to a request for a follow-up interview with the Texas Rangers. Arredondo was incident commander during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, and he has been heavily criticized for directing officers to wait outside in a hallway while the gunman remained in a classroom for more than an hour.
Officers from other agencies were captured on audio telling Arredondo they should follow established procedure and break into the locked classroom without delay. Arredondo told CNN that he wasn't going to provide more information while funerals of the victims—19 children and two teachers—are underway. "We're going to be respectful to the family," he said. "We're going to do that eventually. Whenever this is done and the families quit grieving, then we'll do that obviously." Arredondo, who spent 15 years with the Uvalde Police Department before joining the small school district force, was privately sworn in as a city council member Tuesday. He was elected earlier this month, before the mass shooting.
The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, the state's largest police union, urged members Tuesday to "cooperate fully" with investigations of the police response in Uvalde, the Texas Tribune reports. Official accounts of the incident are continuing to shift, with police saying Tuesday that a teacher had closed a door they initially said was propped open during the shooting. Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin walked back criticism of state leaders late Tuesday, per the Tribune. "Our parents deserve answers and I trust the Texas Department of Public Safety/Texas Rangers will leave no stone unturned," he said. “Our emotions are raw, and hearts are broken, and words are sometimes exchanged because of those emotions.” (Read more Pete Arredondo stories.)