Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo has been placed on administrative leave following a focused investigation on the delayed police response during the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas last month.
Texas Department of Public Safety officials said it was Arredondo who directed officers not to engage and that it took more than an hour for officers to confront and take down the gunman responsible for killing 19 students and two teachers at the elementary school.
As the Texas Tribune reported, amid most of the 77 minutes when pleas from parents could be heard loud and clear as officers and others amassed outside of the school, a group of officers remained outside of a couple of classrooms as the gunman opened fire.
The report also noted how it took more time before a tactical team from U.S. Border Patrol was able to come into the school and breach the classroom door to kill the gunman.
"From the beginning of this horrible event, I shared that the district would wait until the investigation was complete before making personnel decisions," said school district superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell. "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."
Dr. Harell said in the announcement that he still did not have details regarding the ongoing federal, state, and local investigations on the incident and the police response.
"Lieutenant Mike Hernandez will assume the duties of the UCISD Chief of Police," said the superintendent. "We will continue to seek qualified candidates to join our police department as we prepare for the new school year."