Pete Arredondo, Chief of Police for the school district Uvalde, TexasA member of the Uvalde City Council resigned Friday amid continued outrage over the slow police response to a shooting at Rapp Elementary School in May.
In a letter to the city, Mr. Arredondo said, after much consideration, “it is in the best interest of the community to step down as a member of the City Council for District 3 to minimize further distractions.”
The mayor, city council and city staff “must continue to move forward to bring our community together once again,” he said.
Mr. He was also the incident commander for the response, according to State Police Director Steven McGraw. Although officers from multiple agencies entered the school minutes after the gunman opened fire in two connected classrooms, they waited more than an hour before confronting and killing him.
Mr. Arredondo defended his decision that day In an interview with the Texas Tribune In return he did not believe he was in charge. The shooting and police response have been the subject of multiple investigations, including one by the US Department of Justice.
Mr. After Arredondo was sworn in as a council member, he did not attend any council meetings.
“I think it’s the right thing for him to do,” said Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin of Mr. Arredondo said in a text message of his resignation. “We didn’t know anything about it until we saw it published on the paper’s site.”
On June 21, City council members Mr. They gathered to discuss Arredondo’s request for leave. Uvalde residents stood before the council one by one, and Mr.
First to the scene was Jasmine Casares, 17, who lost her sister and cousin in the shooting.
“After choosing to wait an hour for backup, instead of ordering officers to take down the shooter, it’s proven that he can’t do his job,” Ms. Cazares said. “How can I let go of grief, knowing that he did nothing to protect my sister, my cousin, her friends and her teachers?” After more residents spoke, Uvalde City Council Mr. Arredondo denied the leave request.
A week later, with a community still reeling from the tragedy, Mr. News of Arredondo’s resignation was welcomed.
Martin Herrera, who lost a grandson and helped his surviving granddaughter recover from the horror of that day, said the resignation was a step in the right direction. Mr. Herrera, Mr. Arredondo said the position of school police chief should be vacated immediately. But Mr. Herrera also said he wants others who get the answer wrong to face the consequences.
Leonard Sandoval, whose grandson Xavier Lopez was killed in the shooting, said Mr. Arredondo said he “should have resigned long ago.”
Hugo Cervantes, one of the residents who rushed to Raab Elementary School after hearing the gunshots, said Mr. He said Arredondo’s decision was nothing more than another development delaying justice for families. He recalled pleading with armed officers to enter the school and being told “everything was fine” even though people heard gunshots.
“The truth is they could have saved many children but didn’t,” said Mr. Cervantes said. “It’s too little, too late.”
J. David Goodman Contributed report.