The police chief in Uvalde, Texas, has been fired after he was blamed for the deaths of 19 students and 2 instructors in a school shooting. Pete Arredondo, who had been on leave since June, was unanimously terminated by the local school board.
His legal representatives released a statement saying their client had no idea anyone else was in the classrooms when the shooting began.
After three months had passed after the incident, and just two weeks remained before the start of the new school year, the dismissal was announced.
The shooting on May 24 at Robb Elementary School was the bloodiest school shooting in the United States in over ten years.
There has been mounting pressure for law enforcement to be held accountable after numerous parents and relatives voiced their outrage at the police reaction.
Mr. Arredondo is the first cop to be fired, and he has faced the brunt of the criticism for the officers’ 77-minute wait in addressing the young gunman.
The trustees of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District filed a motion to immediately remove him from his position, and the crowd cheered.
A few people in the audience yelled “Coward!” as the meeting on Wednesday night got underway.
Caitlin Gonzalez, a student at the school who escaped unharmed, said Mr. Arredondo, “Turn in your badge and step down.”
On the other hand, Texas’s public safety head, Steven McCraw, said before the state Senate that there were enough officers there three minutes after the shooter entered the facility to neutralize him.
According to Mr. McCraw, Mr. Arredondo “chosen to place the lives of cops over the lives of children,” further characterizing the response as a “abject failure.”
More than 90 state troopers were present at the scene of the massacre, therefore Mr. McCraw’s agency is also being investigated.
Parents of shooting survivor Chloe Torres attended a meeting on Wednesday, and Ruben Torres was there.
Mr. Torres, a former US Marine, said, “Right now, being young, she is having a terrible time absorbing this horrific tragedy.”
The Uvalde Independent School District has announced that children will not be returning to Robb Elementary School when classes resume on September 6. Instead, they will be attending classes at alternative locations in Uvalde or online.
Mr. Arredondo, who was elected to the city council soon before the school shooting, resigned in July in the face of mounting pressure to relinquish his seat.