The Uvalde, Texas, public school board on Friday postponed a special meeting to discuss the fate of County Police Commissioner Pete Arredondo, who some blamed for the delayed law enforcement response to the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
The board canceled the meeting scheduled for Saturday, citing Arredondo’s right to defend its actions that day, which saw 19 children and two teachers fatally shot amid a disorganized law enforcement response.
“In accordance with the requirements of due process and at the request of his attorney, the meeting to consider Chief Arredondo’s termination will be held at a later date to be determined,” District Spokesperson Anne Marie Espinoza said in a statement.
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District placed Arredondo on paid leave on June 22 amid multiple investigations covering the delayed response from law enforcement.
It took about 77 minutes between the arrival of the first officers and when the police finally took out the gunman.
Texas Department of Public Safety director Steve McCraw blamed Arredondo, who he says was the commander of the incident. Arredondo’s department has six sworn employees, but there were many larger agencies at the scene, including DPS officers and US Border Patrol agents.
“There were many officers to do what needed to be done, except that the incident commander inside felt he needed more equipment and more officers to make a tactical breakthrough at that point,” McCraw told Three Days after the shooting.
Arredondo has defended himself, saying he didn’t know he was supposed to be the head of operations and that he went into the classroom where shots were fired where he thought he could help.
However, he left his radios behind and stood by when a key to a classroom door was sought, which took up valuable time.
Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center later found in a report that a city police officer at the scene had his sights set on the shooter but did not fire the shot, possibly because a supervisor did not authorize it in time.
In early July, Arredondo acknowledged his lack of popularity in Uvalde and resigned his elected seat on the city council about a month after being sworn in.
Anthony Cusumano contributed.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/uvalde-school-board-puts-meeting-fate-district-police-chief-pete-arred-rcna39645 Uvalde School Board postpones meeting on the fate of District Police Commissioner Pete Arredondo