Uvalde Schools Police Chief resigns from City Council
Arredondo, who has been on administrative leave from his position with the school district since June 22, declined repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press. His attorney, George Hyde, did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment on Saturday.
On June 21, the city council voted unanimously to deny Arredondo leave of absence to attend public meetings. Relatives of the victims had pleaded with city leaders to fire him.
Uvalde City Council released a statement on Saturday saying members could not comment because they had not received official notification from Arredondo of its intention to resign.
« Although it is the right thing to do, no one in the city has seen a letter or any other documentation of his resignation, or spoken with him, » the council members said. « When the city receives confirmation of Councilman Arredondo’s resignation, the city will process the vacancy on the council. »
Representatives for Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin did not respond to AP requests for comment.
Colonel Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told a state Senate hearing last month that Arredondo – the on-scene commander – made « terrible decisions » as the massacre was taking place on May 24, and that the police response was a « dismal failure ».
Three minutes after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the school, enough armed law enforcement was on hand to arrest the shooter, McCraw said. Yet police armed with rifles stood and waited in a school hallway for more than an hour as the shooter carried out the massacre. The classroom door could not be locked from the inside, but there was no evidence that officers attempted to open the door while the shooter was inside, McCraw said.
McCraw said parents pleaded with police outside the school to move in and students inside the classroom repeatedly pleaded with 911 operators for help while that more than a dozen officers were waiting in a hallway. Agents from other agencies urged Arredondo to let them move in because the children were in danger.
« The only thing that kept a hallway of dedicated officers from entering rooms 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to put the lives of the officers before the lives of the children, » McCraw said.
Arredondo tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he did not see himself as the commander in charge of operations and that he assumed someone else had taken control of the forces response. order. He said he didn’t have his police and campus radios, but used his cell phone to call tactical gear, a sniper and keys to the classroom.
It remains unclear why it took police so long to enter the classroom, how they communicated with each other during the attack and what their body cameras show.
Officials declined to release further details, citing the investigation.
Arredondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent much of his nearly 30-year career in law enforcement in the city.