NATIONAL NEWS

Pete Arredondo resigns from Uvalde city council, newspaper reports

Jul 2, 2022, 1:41 PM
UVALDE, TX - JUNE 25: A sign reads "I hope u know how loved u are" at a memorial for the victims of...
UVALDE, TX - JUNE 25: A sign reads "I hope u know how loved u are" at a memorial for the victims of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on June 25, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. The Uvalde community is marking one month since the deadly shooting where 19 students and 2 teachers were killed. (Photo by Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Uvalde school district police chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo has resigned his separate position on the Uvalde city council in the wake of the massacre at Robb Elementary School in May, according to a statement attributed to him in Saturday’s Uvalde Leader-News.

“After much consideration, I regret to inform those who voted for me that I have decided to step down as a member of the city council for District 3,” Arredondo said, according to the Leader-News. “The mayor, the city council, and the city staff must continue to move forward without distractions. I feel this is the best decision for Uvalde.”

Arredondo had been placed on leave from his job as school district police chief by the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District last week.

Uvalde city officials had not been informed of Arredondo’s decision by early Saturday afternoon, and CNN has reached out to his attorney for comment.

Arredondo, the chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department since March 2020, was identified by state authorities as the on-scene commander during the mass shooting in which a gunman entered adjoining classrooms on May 24 and killed 19 children and two teachers.

Several law enforcement officers arrived at the school within minutes but allowed the gunman to remain in the classrooms for 77 minutes until they finally entered and killed him, according to a timeline from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), which is leading a review of the incident. The lengthy delay contradicted widely taught protocol for active shooter situations that call for police to immediately stop the threat and came even as children inside repeatedly called 911 and begged for help.

In a hearing before the Texas Senate last week, DPS director Col. Steven McCraw called the police response an “abject failure” and placed sole blame on Arredondo.

Arredondo, who has worked in law enforcement for nearly 30 years, has not spoken substantively to the public about his decision-making that day, but he told the Texas Tribune in an interview that he did not consider himself the on-scene commander.

However, at least one of the responding officers expressed the belief that Arredondo was leading the law enforcement response inside the school, telling others, “the chief is in charge,” according to the DPS timeline.

Arredondo also told the Texas Tribune he did not instruct officers to refrain from breaching the classrooms.

In the wake of the release of the DPS timeline and further details about the law enforcement response, Uvalde CISD superintendent Hal Harrell placed Arredondo on leave from his position as school police chief on June 22.

Arredondo had been elected to the Uvalde City Council on May 7, and was sworn in a week after the May 24 shooting, CNN previously reported.

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Pete Arredondo resigns from Uvalde city council, newspaper reports