Uvalde School Police Chief Sworn In as City Councilman as Investigators Try to Reach Him

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
June 1, 2022US News
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Uvalde School Police Chief Sworn In as City Councilman as Investigators Try to Reach Him
Pete Arredondo, chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (L), speaks at a press conference while Superintendent Hal Harrell looks on, following a mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

The police chief of the school district in Uvalde, Texas was sworn in as a city councilman on May 31 as investigators probing the police response to the recent elementary school mass shooting sought to interview him.

Pete Arredondo, the chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, won the election before the May 24 shooting to the Uvalde City Council.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said in a statement that Arredondo and the other members-elect were sworn in per the City Charter.

“Out of respect for the families who buried their children today, and who are planning to bury their children in the next few days, no ceremony was held,” he said.

Arredondo was the law enforcement official at the scene of the shooting who made the decision not to immediately breach the classroom that the shooter had entered, according to Texas officials. Multiple children inside the classroom called 911 while officers were in the hallway outside. Officers eventually entered the door after nearly 50 minutes.

John McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), called it the “wrong decision” and Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick said it “cost lives,” though he later said it “may have cost lives.”

McLaughlin said previously that there was nothing to prevent Arredondo from taking his seat on the council, which the chief plans on holding in addition to continuing as the school district’s top officer.

Arredondo did an initial interview with Texas Department of Public Safety investigators who are probing the law enforcement response to the shooting but he “has yet to respond to the [Texas] Rangers’ request for a follow up interview that was made a couple of days ago,” a spokesperson for the agency told The Epoch Times in an email.

Arredondo did not pick up the phone on Wednesday or return a voicemail.

The Uvalde school district and the Uvalde Police Department are otherwise cooperating with the probe, the spokesperson said.

McLaughlin said that Uvalde parents “deserve answers and I trust the Texas Department of Public Safety/Texas Rangers will leave no stone unturned.”

Arredondo has not spoken publicly since appearing at a vigil, which took place before he was named as the official who gave the order to hold.

Arredondo told The Epoch Times that the vigil was “a good beginning.”

“I saw a lot of shoulders drop, which means people started to breathe a little bit. And that’s one of the first processes—learn to breathe again. It’s good to see a good tight-knit community come together,” he said.

Charlotte Cuthbertson and Caden Pearson contributed to this report. 

From The Epoch Times

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