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Pressure mounts on Uvalde Police Chief as questions about Robb Elementary school shooting grow

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Jessica Schladebeck

New York Daily News

The police chief at the center of controversy, sparked by officers’ response to the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, is slated to be sworn onto the Uvalde City Council next week.

Peter Arredondo earlier this month defeated three other candidates, nabbing nearly 70% of the vote in the May 7 election, to claim his seat on the council, according to the Uvalde Leader-News. He also serves as the chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, tasked with overseeing the six-officer police force spanning eight different schools.

Texas Department of Public Safety director Steven McCraw said the police chief made the “wrong decision” in the minutes after gunfire erupted inside the Uvalde primary school on Tuesday. It was Arredondo that ordered authorities against engaging with alleged gunman Salvador Ramos. At the time, he believed the 18-year-old suspect “barricaded” himself inside a classroom and that “there were no more children at risk,” McCraw told reporters.

In reality, Ramos continued to unleash violence inside Robb Elementary while panicked children trapped inside classrooms 111 and 112 repeatedly called 911 and begged for help.

A total of 21 people, including two teachers and 19 students, were killed in the attack, the deadliest inside a school since Sandy Hook in 2012. Another 17 people were wounded.

Overall, the violence lasted about an hour, ending only when agents with Customs and Border Patrol shot and killed Ramos.

“From the benefit of hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course it was not the right decision,” McCraw said of the supervisor’s call. “It was the wrong decision. Period. There’s no excuse for that.”

Arredondo, who has made few public statements since the school shooting, has nearly three decades of law enforcement experience. He was appointed head of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District back in 2020.

On Tuesday, exactly one week after the violence inside Robb Elementary, the officer is expected to be sworn onto the city council.

“I’m very excited, I am ready to hit the ground running. I have plenty of ideas, and I definitely have plenty of drive,” Arredondo said in wake of his political victory earlier this month.

“I’m in public service and law enforcement, but I’m very proud of my finance background and what I’ve done with budgets. I’m hoping to lend a hand with that and target, you know, smart spending, make sure that we’re fiscally responsible and get some projects done. I’m a big advocate of keeping our streets clean.”

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