Dallas (AP) — The Uvarde School District police chief took a vacation on Wednesday after allegedly making a mistake in responding to a shooting at Robb Elementary School. As a result, 19 students and 2 teachers died.
Hal Harrell, director of the Ubaldi Consolidated Independent School District, said he had assigned Pete Aledondo, the school’s police chief. I am on leave because the facts of what happened remain unknown. In a statement, Harrell did not mention Aledondo’s actions as a field commander during the attack, but when will details of federal, state, and local investigations into law enforcement’s response to the killings be revealed? He said he didn’t know.
“From the beginning of this horrific event, I shared waiting for the district to complete the investigation before making a personnel decision,” Harrell said. “There are still unclear points, and we do not know when to receive the findings, so we decided to take Prime Minister Aledondo on leave on this day.”
Anne Marie Espinoza, a spokesman for the Uvalde school district, did not say whether Arredondo would continue to be paid during the holidays.
Another officer will take on the task of the embarrassed chief, Harrell said.
Texas Public Safety Director Colonel Stephen McLaugh said at a state parliamentary hearing on Tuesday that Aledondo made a “terrible decision” when the massacre unfolded on May 24, and police response was a “serious failure.” It was.
Three minutes after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered school, McLaugh testified that a well-armed law enforcement agency was on the scene and stopped the shooters. Still, police officers armed with rifles waited for more than an hour in the school corridor while the shooters were slaughtering.Could not lock the classroom door From the inside, there are no signs that the officer tried to open the door while the shooter was inside, McLough said.
McLaugh said his parents begged the police outside of school After moving in, the students in the classroom repeatedly asked the 911 operator for help. A dozen officers were waiting in the corridor. Officers from other agencies urged Arredondo to move them in because the children were at risk.
“The only thing that prevented the full-time officer’s corridor from entering rooms 111 and 112 was that the on-site commander decided to prioritize the officer’s life over the children’s,” McLaugh said. Told.
Mayor of Yuvarde Don McLaughlin pushes back McLaugh’s testimony The Department of Public Safety has repeatedly accused Aledondo of misrepresenting the shooting and degrading the role of his officers.
McLaughlin heard the “Pierrot Show” in the Senate on Tuesday and called, despite saying that at some point during the slaughter, they were in the school corridors more than any other law enforcement agency. Said that he had not heard anything from Macrow about the involvement of state police.
The delay in police response due to the shooting has been the focus of ongoing investigations and public protests. Law enforcement agencies have sometimes provided misleading and sometimes contradictory details and timelines that are causing anger and frustration.
On Tuesday, the Uvalde City Council unanimously voted against giving Arredondo, a member of the council, a vacation from attending public meetings. Relatives of the shooting victims begged city leaders to dismiss him instead.
“Please, please, free this man from our lives,” said Amerie Joe Garza’s grandmother, Berlinda Areola.10 years old who was fatally shot in the attack.
Senator Paul Bettencourt told the State Senate that Aledondo should have resigned immediately.
“This guy should have left work immediately because he couldn’t do it just by looking at his reaction,” Bettencourt said.
Aledondo and his lawyer rejected repeated requests for comments from the Associated Press and did not immediately respond to Wednesday’s inquiry about his vacation.
Aledondo tried to defend his actions and told the Texas Tribune. He did not consider himself the commander of the operation, but assumed that someone else was in control of the law enforcement response. He didn’t have police and college radio, but said he used his cell phone to request tactical equipment, snipers and classroom keys.
It’s not yet clear why it took so long How they communicated with each other as the police entered the classroom During the attack, and what their body cameras show.
Authorities refused to disclose the details, citing the investigation.
50-year-old Arredondo grew up in Uvalde And he spent much of his nearly 30-year career at law enforcement agencies in the city. He became chief of police in the school district in 2020 and swore as a member of the city council at a private ceremony on May 31st.
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