This past Wednesday, Pete Arredondo, the currently being investigated Uvalde Independent School District (UCISD) Police Chief, has officially been sent off on administrative leave, reported Hal Harrell, the Superintendent of the district stated.
This choice took place in the wake of Arredondo being put under extreme scrutiny due to criticism for how he handled the response to the mass shooting on May 24th that took place at Robb Elementary School that resulted in the deaths of 19 kids and 2 teachers. Harrell stated that Lt. Mike Hernandez would take over the role previously done by Arredondo, as reported by CNN.
"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 explained in his statements.
The superintendent stated that at first, he wanted to wait for the results of the investigation surrounding the Robb Elementary mass shooting before issuing any personnel decisions, stating by way of explanation that he was "still without details of the investigations being conducted by various agencies."
Reportedly, Arredondo testified this past Tuesday privately to the Texas House committee that has been looking into the shooting itself. The country and the Uvalde community continued to search for answers as to why it took law enforcement officials well over an hour to make their way into the school and deal with the shooter, especially after a new piece of video evidence has come to light that highlights the officers not even attempting to open the door to the classroom.
"Surveillance footage shows that police never tried to open a door to two classrooms at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde in the 77 minutes between the time a gunman entered the rooms and massacred 21 people and officers finally breached the door and killed him," reported the San Antonio Express-News highlighting that the information was handed over by a law enforcement official who was directly involved in the investigation concerning the response from police that day. "Investigators believe the 18-year-old gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at the school on May 24 could not have locked the door to the connected classrooms from the inside."
Despite recently being placed in a seat as a Uvalde city council member, Arredondo is also dealing with heavy opposition from various members of the community who "want him out" and has created a plan to try and remove him from the city council.
Kim Hammond, a resident of Uvalde, put forth a plan this past Tuesday as part of a city council meeting, which Arredondo failed to attend, along with quite a few other residents who all made it very clear they did not want him around.
In the wake of Hammond's speech, the council denied Arredondo a leave of absence, meaning that he will be forced to show up and face his constituents or lose his seat.