Uvalde Superintendent Places School Police Chief on Leave

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The Uvalde school district’s chief of police was placed on leave on Wednesday, according to an announcement by the district superintendent.

Hal Harrell, the superintendent, said there was still a “lack of clarity” regarding results of the investigations into the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, during which 19 students and two teachers were killed. Harrell said he attempted to wait for results of the investigations “before making personnel decisions.”

“Today, I am still without details of the investigations being conducted by various agencies,” Harrell said in a statement. “Because of the lack of clarity that remains and the unknown timing of when I will receive the results of the investigations, I have made the decision to place Chief Arredondo on administrative leave effective on this date.”

Texas Department of Public Safety officials have called Arredondo the “incident commander” at the scene of the shooting, although Arredondo told the Texas Tribune earlier this month that he did not consider himself as such.

Arredondo told the Tribune that he and other officers tried to open the doors of the adjacent classrooms the shooter had entered, but that they believed they were locked. Texas DPS director Steve McCraw claimed on Tuesday that the doors were never locked and that officers never tried to open the doors while they waited to obtain keys.

Meanwhile, Uvalde mayor Don McLaughlin slammed McCraw at a city council meeting on Tuesday night.

“Colonel McCraw has continued to, whether you want to call it lie, leak . . . mislead or mistake information in order to distance his own troopers and Rangers from the response. Every briefing he leaves out the number of his own officers and Rangers that were on scene that day,” McCraw said.

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