Pete Arredondo resigns from Uvalde city council after botched response to school shooting
“After much consideration, it is in the best interest of the community to step down as a member of the City Council for District 3 to minimize further distractions,” Arredondo said in the letter. “The Mayor, the City Council, and the City Staff must continue to move forward to unite our community, once again.”
Arredondo’s resignation from the city council “is the right thing to do,” the city had said in an earlier news release Saturday responding to the Leader-News’ report, but prior to receiving the chief’s resignation letter.
CNN reached out to Arredondo’s attorney Saturday for comment.
In his letter, Arredondo said that “as we continue to grieve over the tragedy that occurred on May 24th, we pray for the families affected and our entire community.”
“Uvalde has a rich history of loving and supporting thy neighbor and we must continue to do so. In speaking with other communities that have had similar tragedies, the guidance has been the same — continue to support the families, continue to support our community and, above all, to keep strong in our faith,” he wrote.
“As I think about my life, from growing up as a child and into adulthood, Uvalde has held an attraction that is incredibly unique. At the center of that attraction, is our community members. Together, we will keep Uvalde strong,” the latter added.
Police response was an ‘abject failure,’ Texas Department of Public Safety director said
Arredondo, the chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department since March 2020, was identified by state authorities as the on-scene commander during the shooting.
“Three minutes after the subject entered the West building, there was a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract and neutralize the subject,” McCraw said. “The only thing stopping the hallway of dedicated officers from entering rooms 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander, who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”
However, at least one of the responding officers expressed the belief that Arredondo was leading the law enforcement response inside the school, telling others, “the chief is in charge,” according to the DPS timeline.
Arredondo also told the Texas Tribune he did not instruct officers to refrain from breaching the classrooms.
In the wake of the release of the DPS timeline and further details about the law enforcement response, Uvalde CISD superintendent Hal Harrell placed Arredondo on leave from his position as school police chief on June 22.
“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,” Harrell wrote in the announcement.
CNN’s Jason Hanna contributed to this report.