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Uvalde police chief

NewsUvalde police chief

Uvalde police chief fired for making “terrible decisions” in shooting death of 19 children, two teachers

The Uvalde (Texas, USA) School District Board voted unanimously on Wednesday to dismiss Pedro ‘Pete’ Arredondo, the Uvalde school district’s police chief who was harshly criticized for his response to a shooting at a Texas elementary school. In it, 19 children and two teachers were killed by an 18-year-old armed with an assault rifle.

Arredondo did not attend the session, coinciding with the three-month anniversary of the tragedy. Arredondo’s lawyer has described the process as an “unconstitutional public lynching”. According to the lawyer, his client did not attend the meeting because of the death threats he has received.

In a one and a half hour meeting, the board members decided to dispense with Arredondo’s services. The education district’s police chief has received numerous criticisms from parents and community members for being slow to respond to the shooting at a local school last May. Arredondo was removed from his position as chief of police for the Uvalde school district on June 22, despite not resigning from that position and holding the title until now.

Arredondo’s suspension comes just one day after Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw testified in front of a Texas Senate committee and said Arredondo made “terrible decisions” while the massacre was taking place.

According to McCraw, there were enough police officers to respond to the shooting just three minutes after the perpetrator, Salvador Ramos, entered the school through a door. However, armed police officers waited in the hallway for 77 minutes while the assailant perpetrated the massacre in two of the classrooms. The U.S. Government is investigating the police response and it is not yet understood why it took so long for officers to confront the attacker.

The Uvalde shooting is the second worst school shooting in U.S. history, after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newton, Connecticut, where 26 people lost their lives.

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