The school district police chief who made the appeal not to invade a classroom where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers was elected to Uvalde City Council just three weeks before the deadliest school shooting since the Sandy massacre. Hook in 2012.
Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, who ran in a campaign that promised to get involved in community outreach and communication, stopped 19 of his officers on Tuesday from breaking into Robb Elementary School because he believed the gunman had barricaded himself and was no longer an active threat to the children, that he continued to open fire for at least an hour. NBC News reported on Arredondo’s election on Saturday.
Colonel Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, acknowledged at a news conference on Friday that the decision made by the police chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District was “not the right one.”
“For the benefit of hindsight from where I’m sitting now, it’s clear it wasn’t the right decision,” Colonel McCraw said of the officer’s call. “It was the wrong decision. Period. There is no excuse for that.”
Based on Col McCraw’s account, Mr. Arredondo was acting on bad information, and because of that, he spent those precious initial moments in the active firefight trying to locate the keys to access the facility.
The police chief was not present for the press conference and would be under the protection of a pair of officers from a neighboring police department, according to the newspaper. New York Timesas scrutiny over the police chief’s actions has turned inward in recent days, as more timelines of the shootings have been unearthed.
Arredondo had only returned to his hometown of Uvalde in recent years, after returning in 2020 from serving as a police captain at the United Independent School District in Laredo, Texas early in his career.
He then accepted the post of chief of police in Uvalde after the man who previously held the position, Leo Flores, was forced to resign after being arrested for threatening a police officer and for illegally carrying a weapon, the Uvalde Leader-News reported.
Earlier this month, the school’s chief of police decided to speak out about his local sympathy as a police officer and see if that could translate into local politics.
The May 7 election results proved to be a good bet, as he received an overwhelming share of voter support in the municipal election and won a seat on the Uvalde City Council, the newspaper reported.
Receiving nearly 70 percent of the vote, he defeated three other candidates with his campaign to reach out to the community, fiscal responsibility and helping the elderly.
“I’m very excited, I’m ready to start racing,” he told the newspaper.
Mr Arredondo did not respond when contacted by The Independent for comment.