June 27, 2022

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Police chief who delayed assault on Uvalde mass shooter is put on leave

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The Texas school district police chief who has come under withering criticism for the police response to the Uvalde school massacre has been placed on administrative leave by the district and could lose his position on the Uvalde City Council.

Chief Pete Arredondo was in charge of the massive, multiagency police response to the May 24 rampage, officials have said, when a man armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle slaughtered 19 school children aged 9 to 11 and two teachers.

As many as 19 officers waited over an hour in a hallway outside classrooms 111 and 112 before a U.S. Border Patrol-led tactical team finally made entry and killed the shooter.

Police practice generally is to immediately confront a school shooter, even if it puts officers’ lives in danger. The director of the Texas Department of Public Safety said Arredondo made “terrible decisions” that cost valuable time.

The shooting at Robb Elementary School rocked the United States and revived the debate about guns in America. In response, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday took an initial step toward passing the country’s first major gun-control legislation in decades.

The school where the shooting took place will be demolished, Uvalde’s mayor said.

On Wednesday, school district superintendent Hal Harrell said in a statement he had placed Arredondo on administrative leave as the school district police chief and replaced him with a lieutenant.

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