Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo resigned from his city council position on Saturday after receiving an outpouring of backlash following the police response to the Robb Elementary School shooting. .
The school’s police chief first announced his resignation to Uvalde Leader-News, a local media outlet, before formalizing it in a letter sent to the council. He said he was resigning in order to “minimize further distractions” following the school shooting.
“As we continue to mourn the tragedy that occurred on May 24, we pray for the families involved and our community,” his letter of resignation said. “Uvalde has a rich history of love and support for his fellow man and we must continue to do so. Speaking with other communities who have experienced similar tragedies, the advice has been the same: keep supporting the families, keep supporting our community, and certainly keep our faith.
“When I think of my life, from childhood through adulthood, Uvalde has exerted a very unique pull. At the center of that pull are the members of our community. Together, we will keep Uvalde strong. Uvalde strong, Uvalde at home,” the letter continues. “Finally, after careful consideration, it is in the best interests of the community to step down as a member of the District 3 City Council to minimize further distractions.”
It’s official here is the letter of resignation — pic.twitter.com/RQ6FMehw2y
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) July 2, 2022
The city of Uvalde published a statement calling the resignation “the right thing to do” after learning that Arredondo intended to quit.
“The town received information this morning from the local newspaper, Uvalde Leader News, that Councilman Pete Arredondo has indicated that he intends to resign from the Town of Uvalde Council,” the statement read. “Although it’s the right thing to do, no one in town has seen a letter or any other documentation of his resignation, or spoken with him.”
Arredondo’s resignation came after the board rejected his request on June 21 for an extended leave, Uvalde Leader-News reported. He was elected to the office of District 3 council on May 7 and sworn in on May 31.
The public has expressed outrage at the police chief and law enforcement after the police department’s belated response to an active shooter situation that claimed the lives of 19 children and 2 fourth grade teachers. Texas Department of Security Director Steven McCraw said 19 officers entered the building at 11:35 a.m., two minutes after suspected shooter Salvador Ramos, but waited in the hallways for more than an hour to receive tactical gear, a sniper and keys to the classroom. before entering the room to meet the suspect.
Authorities never attempted to unlock the door to adjacent classrooms, likely believing it locked automatically when closed, according to the San Antonio Express-News, citing surveillance footage. The door may have been opened due to a possible malfunction. (RELATED: ‘How Do You Explain Yourself to Parents?’: Reporter Confronts Uvalde School District Police Chief Over Delayed Law Enforcement Action)
Law enforcement did not engage Ramos until around 12:50 p.m. when a specialized Border Patrol tactical unit entered the room and fatally shot the suspected shooter.
The children repeatedly called 911 begging the emergency line to send the police as officers stood in the hallway just outside. The first call came at 12:03 p.m., when a student told the operator she was in room 112, according to The New York Times. Another student called at 12:16 p.m. to report that there were 8 or 9 students still alive. A student told 911 to “please send the police now” at 12:43 p.m. and 12:47 p.m.
The police chief ordered a master key to enter the room at 12:11 p.m., according to radio conversations. He ordered the officers to wait and asked for a break-in tool. He also reportedly told law enforcement not to shoot in order to protect the children.
School District Superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell placed Arredondo on administrative leave on June 22, while the police response to the school shooting remains under investigation.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation into the police response in late May.