Pete Arredondo: Uvalde School Police Chief Put on Administrative Leave as Shocking Revelations about Texas School Shooting Continue to be Made

Arredondo reportedly ordered police officers on the scene to stay back for more than an hour and not confront Ramos.

Uvalde School District Police chief Peter Arredondo has been put on administrative leave, almost a month after the massacre that saw 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entering the school campus and shooting dead 19 students and two teachers. Arredondo has faced severe backlash for law enforcement delays in confronting the gunman.

Dr. Hal Harrell, the superintendent of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, made the decision public in a statement issued on Wednesday. Public outrage has grown over the weeks as more shocking revelations continue to be made about the attack on May 24. However, the 50-year-old has defended his actions saying that he did not think he was the official in charge at the time.

First Serious Action

Peter Arredondo
Peter Arredondo Twitter

Harrell did not explain his decision to place Arredondo on leave, but it was made as the police chief's questionable actions during the mass shooting came under increased scrutiny during a Texas State Senate inquiry into the shooting this week.

State lawmakers are probing the reason police waited for more than an hour outside the Robb Elementary School classroom where the attacker had locked himself. It is being said that Arredondo's decision as the chief to delay action cost the lives of so many students.

Harrell claimed that despite his intention to hold off on making personnel decisions until the results of the inquiry into the shooting on May 24, a "lack of clarity" or timeline coming from the agencies involved led him to decide to place Arredondo on leave.

Texas School victims
19 students and two teachers were killed in the massacre Twitter

"From the beginning of this horrible event, I shared that the district would wait until the investigation was complete before making personnel decisions," read the news release from Harrell.

"Today, I am still without details of the investigations being conducted by various agencies," continued Dr. Harrell. "Because of the lack of clarity that remains and the unknown timing of when I will receive the results of the investigations, I have made the decision to place Chief Arredondo on administrative leave effective on this date."

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

He stated that Lieutenant Mike Hernandez would take over for Arredondo and that the district will search for "qualified candidates" to join the police department for the upcoming academic year.

In the Line of Fire

Since the shooting last month, Arredondo has avoided speaking in front of the public. Wednesday's decision comes as a major blow to Arredondo. He is being slammed for failing to take swift action in entering the school building and confronting Ramos.

In fact, after Ramos, 18, barricaded himself inside a classroom at Robb Elementary full with fourth-graders. Arredondo reportedly ordered police officers on the scene to stay back for more than an hour and not confront Ramos.

In an interview with the Texas Tribune earlier this month, Arrendondo, however, tried to defend himself by saying that he "took on the role of a front-line responder" during the incident and believed another official had taken charge of the broader response.

He said that until 77 minutes after the attack began, officers on the site were unable to locate a key to open the classroom door.

However, the investigation so far has revealed a different story. He reportedly instructed police officers on the scene to remain back for more than an hour and avoid confronting Ramos on fears of getting shot by him.

Salvador Ramos
Salvador Ramos Twitter

On Tuesday, more shocking revelations were made. According to McCraw, the door of the room where Ramos had barricaded himself was not locked and there was no proof that any officers had attempted to access it.

Three minutes after the shooter entered the building, according to McCraw's testimony at a state Senate inquiry, there were enough police present to have stopped him. Labelling the response an "abject failure", McCraw also said Arredondo had "decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children".

Parents outside the Texas elementary school
Parents outside the Texas elementary school Twitter

The decision to remove Arredondo as police chief comes amid uncertainty over his future on the Uvalde city council.