UVALDE, Texas – The Uvalde faculty board on Wednesday evening fired faculty district police chief Pete Arredondo, a transfer that comes three months to the day after the mass capturing at an elementary faculty that claimed the lives of 21 victims.
Arredondo has been the main target of a lot of the scrutiny and blame for regulation enforcement’s 77-minute delay in confronting the gunman who shot and killed 19 youngsters and two academics on Could 24 at Robb Elementary Faculty.
The board adjourned instantly after the unanimous vote and didn’t focus on it publicly.
Arredondo didn’t attend the assembly. As a substitute, his legal professional launched a 17-page assertion Wednesday night, arguing that every one of Arredondo’s actions on Could 24 have been per energetic shooter coaching and that “Chief Arredondo did the fitting factor.”
“Any allegation of lack of management is wholly misplaced,” the assertion says. “The criticism that an officer ought to have rushed the door, believed to be locked, to open it up and not using a protect able to stopping an AR-15 bullet, with out breaching instruments … is tantamount to suicide.”
REPORT TRANSLATED:Uvalde report translated to Spanish by USA TODAY Community journalists
Nonetheless, his assertion additionally cites energetic shooter protocol from the Worldwide Affiliation of Police Chiefs, which says that “rapid motion by officers on the scene is critical when such actions are deemed affordable to stop additional accidents or lack of life.”
State investigators have discovered that the door was by no means locked and there was no video proof that any officer tried merely opening the door.
In complete, 376 officers responded to the lethal capturing, together with 149 U.S. Border Patrol brokers, 91 Texas Division of Public Security troopers and 5 Uvalde faculty district officers.
“The incident command allegations are obviously false,” the assertion says.
Neighborhood members and family and friends of the slain victims packed the John H. Harrell Auditorium on Wednesday, demanding accountability from the varsity board, who took the merchandise into govt session earlier than taking a closing vote in open session.
Six group members spoke throughout public feedback, together with 10-year-old Caitlyne Gonzalez, a buddy of Jackie Cazares, who died at Robb Elementary on Could 24.
“If a regulation enforcement particular person’s job is to guard and serve, why didn’t you shield my buddies and academics on Could 24,” Gonzalez stated. “I’ve messages for Pete Arredondo and all of the regulation enforcement that have been there that day ‘flip in your badge and step down. You don’t need to put on one.’”
The Uvalde group, particularly the households of the victims, have demanded accountability for regulation enforcement’s lack of coordination and inaction in responding to the bloodbath. Hallway video obtained by the American-Statesman, a part of the USA TODAY Community, reveals dozens of heavily-armed officers milling outdoors the school rooms the place the gunman had fired greater than 100 rounds, whilst college students have been calling 911 for assist.
A report by a Texas Home Investigative Committee discovered systemic failures and miscalculations amongst all ranges of regulation enforcement that responded to the scene at Robb Elementary, together with the failure of Arredondo to imagine his designated position as incident commander, and the failure of every other senior regulation enforcement departments from taking over the position. Arredondo has stated he didn’t consider he was accountable for the police response.
The college board had beforehand scheduled a vote final month on firing Arredondo however canceled that assembly on the request of his legal professional and “in conformity with due course of necessities,” in accordance to a college district information launch on the time.
Arredondo was positioned on paid administrative depart in June and unpaid administrative depart a month in the past. Arredondo gained a seat on the Metropolis Council weeks earlier than the capturing and was sworn in privately after the capturing. He resigned from that submit in July after lacking a number of conferences.
Uvalde residents have beforehand urged the board to fireside all six members of the Uvalde faculty police power in addition to Superintendent Corridor Harrell and former Robb Elementary Principal Mandy Gutierrez, after the Home committee discovered that faculty staff left the varsity weak to an intruder by leaving exterior doorways unlocked and never fixing a damaged lock on the classroom door the place the gunman entered. Gutierrez had been positioned on administrative depart after which was reassigned to a brand new place.
Arredondo is the primary regulation enforcement official to face important motion to the flawed respons.
Different regulation enforcement companies, together with the Uvalde Police Division, have stated they’re internally reviewing their response to the Uvalde faculty capturing and can act in line with their findings. Appearing Uvalde Police Chief Lt. Mariano Pargas was placed on administrative depart in July.