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Police chief Pete Arredondo fired over Uvalde school shooting

Police chief Pete Arredondo fired over Uvalde school shooting

Police chief Pete Arredondo fired over Uvalde school shooting

Police chief Pete Arredondo fired over Uvalde school shooting

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  • Pete Arredondo, who had been on leave since June, was fired by the school board in Uvalde, Texas.
  • He is accused of mishandling the response to the fatal shooting of 19 schoolchildren and two teachers.
  • His attorneys claim he was not aware that the gunman had company in classrooms.
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Police chief Pete Arredondo in Uvalde, Texas, who is accused of mishandling the response to the fatal shooting of 19 schoolchildren and two teachers, has been fired.

Pete Arredondo, who had been on leave since June, was fired by the neighbourhood school board with a unanimous vote.

His attorneys claimed in a written statement that he was not aware that the gunman had company in the classrooms.

Two weeks before the start of the new school year and exactly three months after the attack, the employee was fired.

In nearly a decade, the shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24 was the bloodiest school shooting in the US.

There is mounting pressure for law enforcement to be held accountable as a result of the intense indignation that many parents and relatives have expressed toward the police reaction.

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Being the first cop to be fired, Mr. Arredondo has faced the brunt of the criticism for the officers’ 77-minute delay in addressing the young gunman.

The motion to dismiss him from his position immediately was filed, amid loud applause in the auditorium from the board of trustees of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.

The meeting started on Wednesday night, when several audience members yelled, “Coward!”

Caitlin Gonzalez, a student who survived the shooting, told Mr. Arredondo that  “Turn in your badge and step down.”

The firing of Mr. Arredondo, who was not present at the hearing, was referred to as “an unconstitutional public lynching” by his attorneys, who called him “a courageous officer.”

They claimed that their client, who has served as the local police force’s commander since the year 2020, didn’t believe he was in control at the time of the attack.

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The attorneys argued as follows in a 17-page statement obtained by the Austin American-Statesman: “Chief Arredondo made the appropriate decision.

“Any allegation of lack of leadership is wholly misplaced.”

Additionally, it was stated in the statement that no investigation “proving evidence supporting a decision to terminate” his client had been conducted by the school system.

Additionally, it stated that Uvalde school administrators had jeopardised Mr. Arredondo’s safety by forbidding him from bringing a weapon to the school board meeting if he had gone.

It continued: “The complaint that an officer should have rushed the door, believed to be locked, to open it up without a shield capable of stopping an AR-15 bullet, without breaching tools… is tantamount to suicide.”

However, a June inquiry found no evidence that officers attempted to access the classroom door, even though it was not locked.

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According to testimony given during a state Senate committee by Texas Public Safety Chief Steven McCraw, there were enough police on the site three minutes after the shooter entered the building to have stopped him.

The answer, according to Mr. McCraw, was a “abject failure,” and Mr. Arredondo had “decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” he added.

More than 90 state troopers from Mr. McCraw’s department were present at the scene of the massacre, which has drawn criticism.

Father of Chloe Torres, who survived the shooting, Ruben Torres attended the meeting on Wednesday with other parents.

The former US Marine Mr. Torres added, “Right now, being young, she is having a terrible time understanding this horrific occurrence.”

According to school officials, pupils will not be sent back to Robb Elementary School when classes resume on September 6; instead, they will be given temporary classrooms elsewhere in Uvalde or online instruction.

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In July, Mr. Arredondo resigned from a city council seat he had won just before the school shooting amid irate calls for him to also vacate that position.

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