Texas college capturing: Uvalde college police chief is suspended after weeks of brewing anger over botched response to gunman

On Tuesday, the highest Texas official in command of the investigation described the response as an “abject failure.”
On the middle of the furor has been the college district’s police chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo. On Wednesday, almost a month after the horrific capturing, he was positioned on go away.

“From the start of this horrible occasion, I shared that the district would wait till the investigation was full earlier than making personnel choices,” Uvalde Consolidated Impartial Faculty District Superintendent Hal Harrell stated in a press release.

“Right this moment, I’m nonetheless with out particulars of the investigations being performed by numerous companies. Due to the dearth of readability that is still and the unknown timing of when I’ll obtain the outcomes of the investigations, I’ve made the choice to put Chief Arredondo on administrative go away efficient on this date,” he stated.

Arredondo and responding regulation enforcement companies have confronted fierce criticism over the size of time officers have been stationed in a hallway exterior adjoining lecture rooms 111 and 112 at Robb Elementary, the place an 18-year-old gunman and the victims have been situated.
The gunman fired at responding officers within the first minutes of the capturing, two of whom acquired grazing wounds, in accordance with an up to date timeline from the Texas Division of Public Security. But greater than 70 minutes would elapse earlier than the gunman was shot and killed by authorities who stormed the room.
Earlier this month, Arredondo instructed The Texas Tribune he did not take into account himself the incident commander and didn’t instruct officers to chorus from breaching the scene.
Berlinda Irene Arreola, the grandmother of capturing sufferer Amerie Jo Garza, spoke at a tense metropolis council assembly Tuesday the place Arredondo was not current. The college police chief was elected to the council earlier this 12 months and has stayed out of the general public eye for the reason that capturing.

“He failed us,” Arreola stated of Arredondo to councilmembers. “Don’t make the identical mistake he made and fail us too. Go ahead and make it proper … please, please, we’re begging, get this man out of our lives.”

The council later unanimously voted to disclaim Arredondo a go away of absence from future council conferences, and the choice was met with applause from residents in attendance. In response to the town’s constitution, Arredondo might be faraway from workplace if he fails to attend three consecutive metropolis council conferences unexcused.

Arreola spoke with CNN Wednesday concerning the ache of shedding 10-year-old Amerie in addition to the following fallout, with preliminary particulars from investigations indicating that extra might have been achieved sooner.

“It is getting tougher and tougher every single day so far as lacking her, the damage that we really feel. But additionally with the anger that is unfolding earlier than our eyes,” Arreola instructed CNN’s Brianna Keilar.

“Now we have to talk for all these youngsters, all these households. Now we have to make issues proper, we have to get all the way down to the underside of every thing that has occurred and discover out the reality.”

Senate moving on gun legislation but questions about Uvalde shooting response deepen families'  bread
Amerie’s stepfather, Angel Garza, was a medical first responder to the scene of the capturing and instructed CNN Wednesday he didn’t perceive how police didn’t act once they have been situated exterior the classroom, so near the victims.

“I simply do not get how one can hear these youngsters crying and asking for assist, however you are scared to enter as a result of your commander does not need you to go in,” he stated.

Dad and mom, together with himself, “have been proper exterior” the college. “I used to be making an attempt to get in, I used to be put into handcuffs,” he stated, distraught that police he entrusted “did not save my daughter or any of the opposite youngsters.”

Arredondo examined to a Texas Home committee behind closed doorways on Tuesday concerning the day of the capturing and didn’t remark publicly. CNN has reached out to Arredondo’s legal professional for remark.

Lieutenant Mike Hernandez is assuming the duties of the UCID Chief of Police throughout Arredondo’s go away, in accordance with the college district.

Uvalde mayor calls out DPS director

Whereas Arredondo has acquired the lion’s share of public criticism for the way police dealt with the disaster, the mayor of Uvalde was fast to level out Tuesday that he believes different regulation enforcement companies additionally must be held accountable and supply updates to metropolis officers.

In pointed remarks on the metropolis council assembly, Mayor Don McLaughlin accused DPS director Col. Steven McCraw of shirking his division’s accountability and famous that officers from not less than eight regulation enforcement companies have been inside Robb Elementary in the course of the capturing.

Uvalde mayor slams state agency investigating school massacre, says elementary building will be demolished

“Col. McCraw has continued to — whether or not you wish to name it — lie, leak, mislead or misstate info with the intention to distance his personal troopers and Rangers from the response. Each briefing he leaves out the variety of his personal officers and Rangers that have been on-scene that day,” McLaughlin stated.

McLaughlin additionally decried leaks from unnamed sources he stated have been meant to shift blame over police response away from sure companies and extra towards native regulation enforcement.

“Col. McCraw has an agenda and it’s not to current a full report on what occurred and provides factual solutions on what occurred to this neighborhood,” the mayor stated, including he was meant to obtain a every day briefing from authorities for the reason that day after the capturing however none has been offered.

McCraw on Tuesday at a Texas Senate listening to accused Arredondo of ordering police to attend for pointless tools and keys to a door that won’t have been locked as suspected.

CNN has reached out to the Texas Division of Public Security for remark.

CNN’s Jamiel Lynch, Matthew J. Friedman, Amanda Musa, Eric Levenson, Christina Maxouris, Rosalina Nieves, Andy Rose and Amy Simonson contributed to this report.

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