Texas police chief has been sacked over Uvalde school shooting

Image shows Pete Arredondo

A police chief accused of botching the response to the fatal shooting in May of 19 school children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, has been sacked.

The local school board voted unanimously on Wednesday evening to fire Pete Arredondo.

His lawyers said in a written statement that he had been unaware anyone was inside the classrooms with the shooter.

Mr Arredondo has previously argued that he did not think he was the official in charge at the time of the attack.

He has taken the brunt of criticism for officers’ 77-minute delay in confronting the teenage gunman – and is the first officer to be dismissed.

According to the New York Times, cheering was heard in the room as one of the board members filed the motion that there was “good cause” to remove Mr Arredondo from his post immediately.

Mr Arredondo’s lawyers called his firing “an unconstitutional public lynching”.

In a statement reported by the Austin American – Statesman newspaper, his attorneys maintained: “Chief Arredondo did the right thing.

“Any allegation of lack of leadership is wholly misplaced.

“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.”

But an inquiry heard in June that the classroom door was not locked and there was no evidence officers tried to open it.

Texas public safety chief Steven McCraw testified to a state Senate hearing that there were enough police on the scene to have stopped the gunman three minutes after he entered the building.

Labelling the response an “abject failure”, Mr McCraw also said Mr Arredondo had “decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children”.

Mr Arredondo – who had led the small police force since 2020 – stepped down in July from a city council seat he won shortly before the school shooting, amid angry calls for him to lose that post.

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