Termination hearing for Uvalde school police chief planned for next week

·2 min read

School officials for Uvalde, Texas, have scheduled a hearing for next week on firing the school district’s police chief, who was apparently the on-site commander during the May mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.

The communications director for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District said in a statement obtained by The Hill that the school district’s board will meet next Wednesday, Aug. 24, to discuss possibly terminating Chief Pete Arredondo. The hearing was previously scheduled and delayed twice because of conflicts and to ensure due process.

Law enforcement faced intense criticism in the aftermath of the shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead. Investigations into the law enforcement response revealed that officers waited more than an hour after the shooter entered the school before confronting and killing him.

Arredondo was reportedly the on-site commander in charge of the law enforcement response, but he has said he did not believe himself to be as the shooting was happening. Experts have said a breakdown in communication contributed to the delayed response.

The superintendent of the school district recommended last month that Arredondo be fired. He has been on unpaid administrative leave since late June.

He stepped down from his position on the Uvalde City Council last month in the interest of the city and “to minimize further distractions.” He had been elected to his role before the shooting occurred.

The head of the Texas Department of Public Safety said in the days following the shooting that the commander in charge did not believe there was an active shooter situation when police arrived and that the situation had transitioned to that of a barricaded suspect.

The shooter barricaded himself in adjoining classrooms, where he continued to open fire. Students were still alive in the classroom while officers gathered in the hallway outside the room.

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