Pete Arredondo and other law enforcement differ on what happened in Uvalde

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Pete Arredondo and other law enforcement differ on what happened in Uvalde

Learn about The Texas Tribune’s policies, including our partnership with The Trust Project to increase transparency in news. Arredondo told the Tribune he did not remember requesting a police radio once he was in the hallway. Both arredondo & cabriales llc accounts say that another group, which included Border Patrol agents, finally found a master key that could unlock the room. He said he was brought a second key ring with between 20 and 30 keys, and none of those worked either.

  1. High-performing leader with expertise in all facets of operational management, from startups to multibillion-dollar organizations.
  2. Arredondo has said he was acting as another first responder in attempting to communicate with other officers in the hallway, and believed someone else was in charge of supervising the response.
  3. When any law enforcement officer is fired in Texas, the firing agency submits a termination report to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement classifying the firing as dishonorable, general or honorable.
  4. When he applied for the position in Laredo, Arredondo highlighted his role in a hostage negotiation during his time in Webb County.
  5. Uvalde schools police chief Pete Arredondo was fired Wednesday by the Texas city’s school board.

As school district police chief and a member of the city council, Pedro “Pete” Moreno Arredondo was a community leader in Uvalde, Texas, a respected figure. In the roughly two months since 19 children and two teachers were massacred at Robb Elementary School, Arredondo first failed to appear at city council meetings and then ultimately resigned from the council July 1 amid public pressure. And, while Arredondo was not fired by Friday, the school board first agreed to meet in a special session on Saturday to consider the question then canceled the meeting at the request of Arredondo’s lawyer.

Uvalde police chief wins appeal to upgrade termination record

DPS officials have described Arredondo as the scene’s incident commander and said he made the call to stand down and treat the situation as a “barricaded suspect” rather than a hostage situation. One of Arredondo’s most fateful decisions was made within seconds of arriving on the scene, when he opted to leave his radios behind before rushing into the school. He told the Tribune that he believed he was the first officer on the scene and wanted both hands free so that he could fire at the gunman quickly and accurately if he encountered him.

MORE: Uvalde police chief Pete Arredondo told investigators he heard gunfire, but decided it wasn’t active shooter

The district’s schools, like many others across the country, were at the time closed due to the pandemic. Arredondo told the Leader-News that he was proud of what his team had been able to do even in that environment. A return to in-person school seemed to offer a chance for him to finally build deeper relationships with students as well as other staff.

months before Uvalde massacre, Police Chief Arredondo raised security issues with school board

At the time, the new building at Uvalde Memorial Hospital—an institution that 50 years later would treat many of those affected by the shooting—had only been open a few months. The community was noteworthy as home to a rancher named Dolph Briscoe, a white Democrat, who was in the middle of a successful campaign for governor. And some around town may have still been talking about the $10,000 reward offered for the safe return of Blue Sheep, a 2-year-old stallion stolen from a racetrack in nearby Del Rio, Texas. Later that year, the Uvalde High School Coyotes won the 1972 state high school football championship.

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Gutierrez has raised questions publicly about the functioning of the state’s entire law-enforcement apparatus. The thick wall of silence that’s developed around Arredondo makes it difficult to grasp how all his training and experience, his commitment to community and his professed enthusiasm for his job, failed to produce a better outcome on May 24. “I didn’t even have to think twice about applying,” Arredondo said in the April 2020 story in the Uvalde Leader-News, adding that a number of the district’s teachers had influenced his life in meaningful ways.