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The Uvalde, Texas, school district police chief being blamed for the botched response to the May 24 school shooting that left 19 kids and two teachers dead was supposed to be sworn in to the City Council on Tuesday, but the event is “not happening,” according to an official.
Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo was to be sworn in to the City Council on Tuesday, but the city manager said it’s “not happening.” Arredondo, who led the law enforcement response to the massacre at Robb Elementary School and reportedly held back his officers for more than an hour, was elected to the Uvalde City Council on May 7. It was not immediately clear if the swearing-in ceremony was being postponed or canceled, or whether it was related to Arredondo’s disastrous performance.
“Our focus on Tuesday is on our families who lost loved ones,” Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said in a statement. “We begin burying out children tomorrow, the innocent victims of last week’s murders at Robb Elementary School. The special City Council meeting will not take place as scheduled.”
“Pete Arredondo was duly elected to the City Council,” McLaughlin added. “There is nothing in the City Charter, Election Code, or Texas Constitution that prohibits him from taking the oath of office. To our knowledge, we are currently not aware of any investigation of Mr. Arredondo.”
Arredondo was the incident commander at the scene and ordered officers not to engage the 18-year-old gunman who had stormed the school and was locked in a classroom full of kids, according to authorities. Eventually, federal agents, including elite border patrol officers, arrived on the scene and disregarded Arredondo’s orders. They entered the classroom in a “stack” formation and a border agent killed the gunman.
The gunman, who The Daily Wire is not naming in keeping with a policy aimed at depriving mass shooters of the notoriety that often motivates them, was killed a full 90 minutes after he first arrived at the school and began shooting. Local police have been unable to explain why they waited so long to enter the school.
Texas DPS spokesman Lt. Chris Olivarez told CNN on Thursday that police were inside the school, but didn’t hunt down the suspect out of fear for their own safety.
“If they proceeded any further not knowing where this suspect was at, they could have been shot,” Olivarez said. “They could have been killed, and at that point, that gunman would have had the opportunity to kill other people inside that school.”
That answer did not help the department’s case, especially as 911 call logs and a timeline began to take shape that showed terrified fourth-graders begging for their lives as the people responsible for saving them dithered.
The investigation was requested by Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin amid growing evidence that local police hesitated to go into the Robb Elementary School classroom as the 18-year-old gunman carried out the massacre. Local police have been unable to explain why they waited up to 90 minutes to storm the school.
“The goal of the review is to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events,” said DOJ spokesman spokesman Anthony Coley.