The Uvalde School District Police Chief, who was in charge of operations when a gunman killed 19 children and two female teachers on May 24, has been suspended, the district superintendent announced Wednesday.
The announcement comes a day after the Texas director of public safety came under heavy criticism over the police response to the massacre, calling it a“absolute failure”. “Since the beginning of this horrific event, I have maintained that the District will wait until the investigation is complete before making staffing decisions. (…). Due to the remaining lack of clarity and the unknown timing on when I will receive the results of the investigation, I have made the decision to place Chief Arredondo on administrative leave, effective today’s date”Superintendent Hal Harrell said in a statement.
“The life of agents before that of children”
On Tuesday, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steven McCraw, had in particular castigated the fact that Pete Arredondo had decided to “Put the life of the agents before that of the children”. “We know one thing: there is compelling evidence that law enforcement’s response to the attack on Robb Elementary School was an utter failure and goes against everything we have learned in the past. over the past two decades since the Columbine Massacre” in a high school in 1999, he said.
The time taken by the police, more than an hour, to enter the classroom and kill the 18-year-old shooter has been the subject of strong criticism since the killing, and Mr. McCraw had driven the point home during this television hearing. “The officers had weapons, the children did not. The officers had bulletproof vests, the children did not. The officers were trained, not the shooter”he still asserted.
The mayor of Uvalde also announced on Tuesday that Robb Elementary School would be “demolished”. “You can never ask a child or a teacher to come back to this school”said Don McLoughlin.