The Uvalde Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo was placed on leave Wednesday, nearly a month after the mass shooting that left 19 kids and two adults at Robb Elementary School dead, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Hal Harrell said in a news release.
"From the beginning of this horrible event, I shared that the district would wait until the investigation was complete before making personnel decisions," Harrell wrote. "Today, I am still without details of the investigations being conducted by various agencies. 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."
??UVALDE (@CNN) — Uvalde School District Chief of Police Pete Arredondo is **placed on leave,** Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District announced.— Mike Valerio (@ValerioCNN) June 22, 2022
“I have made the decision to place Chief Arredondo on administrative leave effective on this date,” Dr. Hal Harrell said. pic.twitter.com/KlWijDIO9p
Arredondo, who entered the school minutes after the shooter, has been roundly criticized for his response to the incident. Officers reportedly waited more than 70 minutes to take out the gunman.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw called that delay an “abject failure.”
"There's compelling evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary was an abject failure and antithetical to everything we've learned over the last two decades since the Columbine massacre," McCraw told a Texas Senate committee this week.
"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."
'Abject Failure': Officers Were Ready to Neutralize Uvalde Shooter in 3 Minutes https://t.co/pQFifYz9wS— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 21, 2022
Arredondo testified behind closed doors Tuesday before a Texas House committee. Publicly, however, he has only told the Texas Tribune that he "didn't issue any orders" that day, nor did he consider himself incident commander, Fox News reports.