Uvalde school district police chief Pete Arredondo was fired yesterday (Aug. 24). The decision comes roughly three months after the deadly May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas. As previously reported by REVOLT, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos was named as the suspect responsible for killing 21 individuals. Law enforcement officials shot and killed Ramos during the incident.
For months, Arredondo faced scrutiny for how the mass shooting was handled. Parents and city officials were furious at the department’s delayed and unorganized emergency response that allowed lives to be lost. Yesterday, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s board of trustees voted unanimously to fire Arredondo. Parents and survivors of the deadly shooting gathered in an auditorium for the announcement.
In the months since the shooting, surveillance footage was released showing armed officers waiting in the Uvalde school’s hallway for over an hour as the gunman shot and killed students and teachers. During this time, there were frantic calls to 911 from those trapped in the classroom. Arredondo has been on leave since June 22; he was not present for the unanimous vote. Arredondo’s attorney George Hyde provided a 17-page statement on behalf of the police chief. In it, Arredondo defended his department’s response to the tragic shooting.
According to The Guardian, the police chief said he did not feel safe attending the meeting because he was not allowed to carry a firearm. He added that he’d received death threats. “Chief Arredondo will not participate in his own illegal and unconstitutional public lynching,” Hyde said in the statement. The attorney added, “Chief Arredondo did the right thing.” Hyde noted that more fatalities could have occurred if the suspect would have gotten into a “gunfight with officers.”
Everyone doesn’t seem to share Hyde’s sentiments. After news of Arredondo’s termination began to spread, users on Twitter weighed in on the topic. “Now that Pete Arredondo has been officially fired as Uvalde’s Police Chief, he should be stripped of his pension, sued and criminally charged with negligent homicide,” one person wrote.
Now that Pete Arredondo has been officially fired as Uvalde’s Police Chief, he should be stripped of his pension, sued and criminally charged with negligent homicide.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) August 25, 2022