UVALDE, Texas – The Uvalde college board on Wednesday evening fired college district police Chief Pete Arredondo, a transfer that comes three months to the day after the mass taking pictures at aelementary college that claimed the lives of 21 victims.
Arredondo has been the main target of a lot of the scrutiny and blame for regulation enforcement’s 77-minute delay in confronting the gunman who shot and killed 19 youngsters and two academics on Could 24 at Robb Elementary College.
Arredondo didn’t attend the assembly. As an alternative, his lawyer launched a 17-page assertion Wednesday night, arguing that every one of Arredondo’s actions on Could 24 have been in keeping with lively shooter coaching and that “Chief Arredondo did the fitting factor.”
“Any allegation of lack of management is wholly misplaced,” the assertion says. “The grievance that an officer ought to have rushed the door, believed to be locked, to open it up with no defend able to stopping an AR-15 bullet, with out breaching instruments … is tantamount to suicide.”
REPORT TRANSLATED:Uvalde report translated to Spanish by USA TODAY Network journalists
Nonetheless, his assertion additionally cites lively shooter protocol from the Worldwide Affiliation of Police Chiefs, which says that “instant motion by officers on the scene is important when such actions are deemed cheap to stop additional accidents or lack of life.”
State investigators have discovered that the door was by no means locked and there was no video proof that any officer tried merely opening the door.
In whole, 376 officers responded to the lethal taking pictures, together with 149 U.S. Border Patrol brokers, 91 Texas Division of Public Security troopers and 5 Uvalde college district officers.
“The incident command allegations are obviously false,” the assertion says.
‘Flip in your badge’
Neighborhood members and family and friends of the slain victims packed the John H. Harrell Auditorium on Wednesday, demanding accountability from the varsity board, who took the merchandise into government session earlier than taking a ultimate vote in open session.
Six neighborhood members spoke throughout public feedback, together with 10-year-old Caitlyne Gonzalez, a good friend of Jackie Cazares, who died at Robb Elementary on Could 24.
“If a regulation enforcement individual’s job is to guard and serve, why didn’t you shield my mates and academics on Could 24,” Gonzalez mentioned. “I’ve messages for Pete Arredondo and all of the regulation enforcement that have been there that day ‘flip in your badge and step down. You don’t need to put on one.’”
The Uvalde neighborhood, specifically the households of the victims, have demanded accountability for regulation enforcement’s lack of coordination and inaction in responding to the bloodbath. Hallway video obtained by the American-Statesman, a part of the USA TODAY Community, exhibits dozens of heavily-armed officers milling outdoors the school rooms the place the gunman had fired greater than 100 rounds, at the same time as college students have been calling 911 for assist.
A report by a Texas House Investigative Committee found systemic failures and miscalculations amongst all ranges of regulation enforcement that responded to the scene at Robb Elementary on Could 24, together with the failure of Arredondo to imagine his designated function as incident commander, and the failure of some other senior regulation enforcement departments from taking up the function. Arredondo has mentioned he didn’t imagine he was in command of the police response.
The varsity board had beforehand scheduled a vote final month on firing Arredondo however canceled that meeting on the request of his lawyer and “in conformity with due course of necessities,” in accordance to a college district information launch on the time.
Arredondo was positioned on paid administrative go away in June and unpaid administrative go away a month in the past. Arredondo received a seat on the Metropolis Council weeks earlier than the taking pictures and was sworn in privately after the taking pictures. He resigned from that submit in July after lacking a number of conferences.
Uvalde residents have beforehand urged the board to fireside all six members of the Uvalde college police pressure in addition to Superintendent Corridor Harrell and former Robb Elementary Principal Mandy Gutierrez, after the Home committee discovered that college workers left the varsity weak to an intruder by leaving exterior doorways unlocked and never fixing a damaged lock on the classroom door the place the gunman entered. Gutierrez had been positioned on administrative go away after which was reassigned to a brand new place.
Arredondo is the primary regulation enforcement official to face important motion to the flawed response at Robb Elementary on Could 24.
Different regulation enforcement companies, together with the Uvalde Police Division, have mentioned they’re internally reviewing their response to the Uvalde college taking pictures and can act in keeping with their findings. Appearing Uvalde Police Chief Lt. Mariano Pargas was put on administrative leave in July.