Pete Arredondo: Disgraced Uvalde School Police Chief and Another Officer Charged Over Botched Response Mass Shooting that Killed 21

Security footage revealed that Arredondo and his team did not attempt to enter the rooms until a tactical team arrived 77 minutes after the violence began.

Two former Uvalde school police officers, including the disgraced former Chief Pete Arredondo, were indicted on Thursday for their mishandled response to the 2022 mass shooting. A total of 21 people, including 19 fourth graders and two teachers, were killed when 18-year-old Salvador Ramos opened fire on May 24, 2022.

Arredondo and former Officer Adrian Gonzales were indicted by a grand jury on felony charges of abandoning and endangering a child, Uvalde District Attorney Christina Mitchell told the Uvalde Leader-News. The Uvalde police force faced immense criticism following the massacre when it was revealed that no officers attempted to confront Ramos until 77 minutes after he launched the deadly attack.

Behind the Bars

Pete Arredondo
Pete Arredondo X

According to reports, the UCISD chief turned himself in and was booked into the Uvalde County jail on Thursday, while Gonzales was anticipated to turn himself in on Friday morning.

In January, Mitchell convened a grand jury to review law enforcement's handling of the shooting, coinciding with the Department of Justice's release of a critical report.

Salvador Ramos stalking
Salvador Ramos seen stalking the hallways before he went on to kill 21 people including 19 children Twitter

The report cited "cascading failures" by police during the incident, where 18-year-old gunman Salvatore Ramos entered Robb Elementary School with an AR-15-style rifle, resulting in the deaths of 19 fourth graders and two teachers.

Security footage revealed that Arredondo and his team did not attempt to enter the rooms until a tactical team arrived 77 minutes after the violence began.

He admitted that his decision not to confront Ramos was because he was trying to protect other children's lives. However, this action went against his department's active shooter protocols and essentially left students trapped with Ramos, potentially leading to fatalities.

Police Waiting outside the school
Police Waiting outside Robb Elementary School while Salvador Ramos continued his carnage Twitter

The shooting lasted over an hour as officers remained outside, initially treating the situation as a barricade rather than an active shooter scenario.

Following this incident, Arredondo was immediately placed on administrative leave and subsequently fired from his position.

Disgrace to the Force

A Department of Justice investigation highlighted leadership failures that contributed to delays, potentially worsening the outcome of the incident. The report criticized the police for lacking urgency in establishing a command center, which led to confusion over leadership roles.

Uvalde video leaked
One of the brazen officers seen using hand sanitizer as Ramos continued his carnage a few feet away Twitter

According to the report, upon arrival, Arredondo discarded his radios, considering them unnecessary. A critical mistake was believing that the shooter was contained or in a barricaded position, despite ongoing gunfire that resulted in more child fatalities and an injured officer.

An investigation commissioned by the city of Uvalde also found that officers intended to enter the classroom as soon as they received bulletproof shields, but Arredondo overruled this decision.

Salvador Ramos
Salvador Ramos Twitter

Ramos was ultimately shot and killed by US Border Patrol Tactical Unit agents, who bypassed several other officers present in the hallway.

Gonzales, although hardly mentioned in official reports on the shooting, had received SWAT training and served as an active shooter training instructor for Uvalde school police.

These criminal charges against the former police officers mark the first in connection with what became the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.