BREAKING NEWS: Uvalde school police chief Pete Arredondo is put on administrative leave due to ‘lack of clarity’ in investigation into shooting
- Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell announced the decision in a statement released on Wednesday
- Arredondo has come under fire in the weeks after the May 24 shooting over his response to the active gunman
Uvalde School District Police chief Peter Arredondo was put on administrative leave, effective immediately.
Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell announced the decision in a statement released on Wednesday.
Harrell said he intended to wait until the investigation into the May 24 shooting was completed to made personnel decisions, but due to a ‘lack of clarity’ or timeline coming from the agencies involved he decided to put Arredondo on leave.
Harrell did not specify why he had chosen to put Arredondo on Leave, but the decision came as the police chief’s questionable decisions during the mass-shooting saw renewed scrutiny during a Texas State Senate hearing into the shooting held this week.
He said that Arredondo would be replaced by Lieutenant Mike Hernandez, and that the school district would look for ‘qualified candidates’ to join the police force for the upcoming school year.
Uvalde School District Police chief Peter Arredondo was put on administrative leave, effective immediately on Wednesday
‘From the beginning of this horrible event, I shared that the district would wait until the investigation was complete before making personnel decisions,’ Harrell wrote in the statement, ‘Today, I am still without details of the investigation being conducted by various agencies.’
‘Because of the lack of clarity that remains and the unknown timing of when I will receive the results of the investigation, I have made the decision to place Chief Arredondo on administrative leave effective this on date.’
Harrell added that no more information would be provided about the decision, characterizing it as a ‘personal matter.’
Arredondo has been under fire in the weeks since the shooting after he was fingered as the man responsible for the botched police response to the shooting.
He reportedly commanded cops on the scene to stay put for over an hour and not confront gunman Salvadaor Ramos, 18, after barricaded himself inside a fourth-grader filled classroom at Robb Elementary.
At the state Senate hearing yesterday, Texas Department of Public Safety head Steve McCraw lay the blame at Arredondo’s feet for the police response, which he called ‘an abject failure.’
In a scathing speech, McCraw said the district chief ‘decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.’
‘The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander, who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,’ McCraw said. ‘The officers had weapons – the children had none. The officers had body armor – the children had none.’