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Texas school shooting: Police chief sent on leave for late response

The school district police chief who delayed the assault on the Texas school shooting shooter has been placed on administrative leave. The shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas killed 19 school children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.

Chief Pete Arredondo was in charge of law enforcement response in Uvalde on May 24 and will be replaced by Lt. Mike Hernandez, Superintendent Hal Harrell said in a statement.

The Texas Department of Public Safety on Tuesday, June 21, called the police response an “abject failure” because officers failed to intervene immediately while the shooter was still locked in the classroom where children were killed.

In accordance with police practice, an official must immediately confront a school shooter even if it puts the lives of the officers in danger.

Arredondo defended his actions saying his main concern was to save the lives of as many teachers and students as possible. But he said officers on the scene did not find a key to unlock the classroom door until 77 minutes after the massacre began.

However, Public Safety Chief Steven McCraw told a Texas Senate hearing on Tuesday that the door was not locked and there was no evidence that officers were trying to see if it was secure while others were looking for a key.

Arredondo, who was elected to the Uvalde city council shortly before the shooting, is also at risk of losing his seat on the council. He asked for time off and missed Tuesday night’s city council meeting, when the rest of the city council denied him time off on Tuesday.

If he misses three consecutive meetings, the board can dismiss him.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 1:21pm on Sunday July 3rd, 2022