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Uvalde schools police chief resigns from city council post

Pete Arredondo, who was placed on administrative leave over his response to the shooting at Robb Elementary, had secretly been sworn in to the city council position

Pete Arredondo, police chief for schools in Uvalde, Tex., speaks at a news conference after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24. (Mikala Compton/Reuters)

Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, whose delayed response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tex., has been widely criticized, resigned Saturday from his post on the city council.

“After much consideration, I regret to inform those who voted for me that I have decided to step down as a member of the city council for District 3,” Arredondo wrote in his resignation letter. “The mayor, the city council, and the city staff must continue to move forward without distractions.”

Arredondo’s resignation was first reported by the Uvalde Leader-News, and officials for the City of Uvalde initially learned of his decision from that article.

“While it is the right thing to do, no one from the City has seen a letter or any other documentation of his resignation, or even spoken with him,” read an initial statement from the city. The mayor and the city secretary received the resignation letter later in the afternoon, according to Gina Eisenberg, who has been handling the city’s media affairs.

Arredondo, his lawyer and a person who has handled media inquiries for him did not respond to requests for comment from The Washington Post.

Arredondo led a team of six officers who were chiefly responsible for ensuring the safety of Uvalde’s schools. On the day of the shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead, it was his decision to have those officers wait for backup instead of rushing the classroom, according to state police.

It was the wrong decision. Period. There’s no excuse for that,” Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven C. McCraw said days after the shooting, adding that wounded children were denied potentially lifesaving care during the wait.

Pete Arredondo spent years preparing for a school shooting. Then it happened.

In an interview last month with the Texas Tribune, Arredondo argued that his officers could not have burst into the classroom holding the gunman because the door jamb was made of steel, and therefore they had to wait for someone to bring them the keys. He also said that he was not aware that 911 calls were being placed from the classroom during that time because he and his team had left their radios outside the building, and no one informed them what was going on during the 77 minutes they were trying to find a way into the room.

Arredondo also told the Tribune that he did not agree with characterizations from other police officials that he was the scene’s incident commander and disputed charges that he told police to stand down.

Arredondo was placed on administrative leave from his school district position in late June. Around the same time, the city council also unanimously rejected Arredondo’s request for a leave of absence, and some members signaled to local media that they would be willing to oust him from the council if he missed three straight meetings, as permitted by the city charter.

Arredondo was elected to the city council before the mass shooting and sworn in one week after the incident, in secret.

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