Uvalde School Police Chief Fired

School board terminates Pete Arredondo over botched response to mass shooting
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2022 10:24 PM CDT
Uvalde School Police Chief Fired After Mass Shooting
Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo, third from left, stands during a news conference outside of the Robb Elementary school on May 26, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, File)

Exactly three months after the shooting massacre at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school left 19 children and two teachers dead, the school district fired its police chief. Pete Arredondo, who coordinated the law enforcement response to the mass shooting, had been on administrative leave since June, and in addition to unanimously voting to terminate his contract Wednesday, the school board also found that he should not receive pay for the period he's been on leave, NPR reports. Some in the audience called "coward!" as the meeting got started. Arredondo did not attend the meeting, but his attorney released a 17-page letter that the AP says is the former "police chief’s fullest defense to date of his actions" on May 24.

Among other things, it claims Arredondo was not in command of the scene at Robb Elementary School that day, and that he had warned the district about security issues at its schools a year before the shooting. "Chief Arredondo will not participate in his own illegal and unconstitutional public lynching and respectfully requests the Board immediately reinstate him, with all backpay and benefits and close the complaint as unfounded," it says. It also claims Arredondo's actions saved the lives of other students who were not harmed that day. There were 376 law enforcement officers on the scene at the time, and they waited more than an hour to confront the shooter. Just one other, the acting Uvalde police chief, is known to have been placed on leave for reasons related to the shooting. (More Uvalde mass shooting stories.)

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