Texas’ UVALDE – Following accusations that he made mistakes in his handling of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, which claimed the lives of 19 kids and two teachers, the police chief for the Uvalde school system was placed on leave on Wednesday.
Hal Harrell, the superintendent of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, announced that he had placed school police chief Pete Arredondo on administrative leave and that another officer will take over the troubled chief’s responsibilities.
Harrell, who did not specify a reason for Arredondo’s removal, said in a statement that it is yet unknown when district officials would get the results of the inquiry into the incident.
Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steven McCraw said before the state Senate on Tuesday that the police reaction to the May 24 massacre was an “abject failure” and that Arredondo, the on-site commander, made “awful judgments” at that time.
According to McCraw’s testimony, there was enough armed law enforcement on the scene three minutes after Salvador Ramos, 18, walked into the school to stop the shooter. While the shooter carried out the carnage, police officers waiting in a school hallway with weapons in hand waited for more than an hour.
There is no evidence that cops attempted to enter the classroom door while the shooter was inside, but McCraw noted that the door could not have been locked from the inside.
According to McCraw, as more than a dozen cops waited in a corridor, parents pleaded with police outside the school to enter, and pupils within the classroom repeatedly begged 911 operators for assistance. Children were in danger, and officers from other agencies pleaded with Arredondo to grant their request.
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The on-scene commander, who chose to put the lives of cops over the lives of children, was the only thing preventing a corridor of committed officers from entering Rooms 111 and 112, McCraw claimed.