Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo Fired

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The Uvalde school board voted unanimously Wednesday night to fire school district Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who was widely condemned for leading a sluggish police response during the Robb Elementary School massacre.

In this May 26, 2022, photo, Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo, third from left, stands … [+] during a news conference outside of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, FILE)

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Key Facts

Arredondo was placed on administrative leave June 22—one day after the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety called his response to the shooting an “abject failure.”

The firing comes three months to the day after Arredondo oversaw the law enforcement response to the May 24 shooting, which left 19 children and two teachers dead.

He is the first police officer to be fired due to the response.

Arredondo’s lawyer released a statement prior to Wednesday’s hearing saying his firing would be an “illegal and unconstitutional public lynching,” demanding he be reinstated and receive back pay.

Key Background

It took more than an hour for law enforcement officers to kill the shooter who carried out the massacre as he holed up inside adjoining classrooms where students placed desperate 911 calls, begging for police. Investigations into the response remain ongoing but details revealed so far suggest there was widespread confusion among responding officers. Arredondo defended his role in the response in an interview with the Texas Tribune, claiming he was unaware he was in command and saying police had trouble finding the right key to open the classroom where the shooter was. An investigative report released by a Texas House committee last month determined Arredondo’s police force only made up five of the 376 law enforcement officers who responded to the shooting. The largest responding force was a group of 149 Border Patrol agents, according to the report, which noted many of the “better trained and better equipped” officers from state and federal agencies could have stepped up to take command, which would “have helped to address the unfolding chaos.”


Arredondo resigned from a separate, elected Uvalde City Council seat in July, doing so to “minimize further distractions.”

Further Reading

Uvalde Shooting: Here’s Everything That Turned Out To Not Be True (Forbes)

Uvalde School Police Chief Arredondo Placed On Leave (Forbes)

Waiting for keys, unable to break down doors: Uvalde schools police chief defends delay in confronting gunman (Texas Tribune)

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