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Uvalde school police chief placed on leave

A spokesperson for the Uvalde school district, Anne Marie Espinoza, declined to say whether or not Arredondo would proceed to be paid whereas on leave.

Another officer will assume the embattled chief’s duties, Harrell mentioned.

Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, informed a state Senate listening to on Tuesday that Arredondo made “terrible decisions” because the bloodbath unfolded on May 24 , and that the police response was an “abject failure.”

Three minutes after 18-year-old Salvador Ramos entered the school, ample armed legislation enforcement had been on scene to cease the gunman, McCraw testified. Yet police officers armed with rifles waited in a school hallway for greater than an hour whereas the gunman carried out the bloodbath. The classroom door could not be locked from the within, however there isn’t a indication officers tried to open the door whereas the gunman was inside, McCraw mentioned.

McCraw has mentioned parents begged police outside the school to maneuver in and college students contained in the classroom repeatedly pleaded with 911 operators for help whereas greater than a dozen officers waited in a hallway. Officers from different businesses urged Arredondo to allow them to transfer in as a result of youngsters had been at risk.

“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering Room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” McCraw mentioned.

Sen. Paul Bettencourt informed the state Senate listening to that Arredondo ought to have stepped down immediately.

“This man should have removed himself from the job immediately because, just looking at his response, he was incapable of it,” Bettencourt mentioned.

Arredondo and his lawyer have declined repeated requests for remark from The Associated Press and didn’t instantly reply to an inquiry Wednesday about his leave.

Arredondo has tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he didn’t contemplate himself the commander in command of operations and that he assumed another person had taken management of the legislation enforcement response. He mentioned he didn’t have his police and campus radios however that he used his cellphone to name for tactical gear, a sniper and the classroom keys.

It’s nonetheless not clear why it took so long for police to enter the classroom, how they communicated with each other throughout the assault, and what their physique cameras present.

Officials have declined to launch extra particulars, citing the investigation.

Arredondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent a lot of his almost 30-year profession in legislation enforcement within the metropolis. He took the pinnacle police job on the school district in 2020 and was sworn in as a member of the City Council in a closed-door ceremony May 31.

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