Uvalde school district police chief sworn in as city council member a week after mass shooting

“Out of respect for the families who buried their children today and who plan to bury their children in the coming days, no ceremony has taken place,” Mayor Don McLaughlin said in a statement.

Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in last Tuesday’s attack. Arredondo was identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) as the person who decided not to enter the school classroom where the shooter had holed up and instead step back and wait for reinforcements.

Although DPS director Steven McCraw did not identify Arredondo by name, he said the chief made the “bad decision” not to engage with the shooter sooner.
The mayor initially said on Monday that the special city council meeting “will not take place as planned, adding that on Tuesday our focus is on our families who have lost loved ones.”

Although there was no official ceremony, McLaughlin said council members came to City Hall “at their convenience” during the day to take the oath, adding that Arredondo showed up. in person to take the oath and sign the documents.

Arredondo was elected to the council earlier this month. In his Monday statement, the mayor said Arredondo was “duly elected” and that there was “nothing in the city charter, election code, or Texas constitution that prohibited him from taking the oath. To our knowledge, we are currently unaware of any investigation into Mr. Arredondo.”

No response to request for follow-up interview

Law enforcement’s response – and the leader’s decision not to confront the shooter – has been criticized as new details of the tragedy emerge, including terrified students calling 911 from inside the classroom to call for help as officers stood in the hallway.
On Sunday, the Justice Department announced it would conduct a review of law enforcement’s response to the shooting at the request of the mayor.

Meanwhile, the DPS said Tuesday that Arredondo did not respond to a request for a follow-up interview with the Texas Rangers, who are investigating the massacre.

The school’s police department and the Uvalde police department are “still cooperating,” but there has been no recent response from Arredondo to a request for a new interview with investigators, CNN told CNN. DPS spokesman Travis Considine.

Arredondo did not respond to multiple requests for comment from CNN.

He has not spoken publicly about the shooting since two brief press releases the day of the attack, in which he said the shooter was dead but provided little information about the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation and not answering any questions.

On Friday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he wanted a full account of what happened, but added he had no say in whether the chief of the school district police was to be fired.

“As far as his employment status is concerned, it is something beyond my control and of which I have no knowledge,” the governor said, adding, “Every act of all these officials will be known, identified and explained to the public.”

Arredondo has nearly three decades of law enforcement experience, according to the school district.

A district board of directors endorsed Arredondo to lead the department in 2020. District Superintendent Hal Harrell said in a Facebook post at the time that the board was “confident with our selection and impressed with his experience, knowledge and community involvement.”

Arredondo previously served as a captain in a school district police department in Laredo, Texas, and held several positions with the Uvalde Police Department.

CNN’s Curt Devine, Nick Watt and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.