Mr. Arredondo has been on suspension without pay since late June and resigned from a seat he recently won on the city council. The superintendent’s recommendation to fire him fell lower than every week after a Texas Home committee released a damning report accusing the chief and tons of other responding officers of “systemic failures and extremely poor decisions.”
In the weeks following the capture in May, residents of Uvalde filled city council and school board meetings demanding answers. Much of that anger was directed at Chief Arredondo, who, under the University District’s mass capture protocol, was supposed to be leading the response.
He said he was not responsible, but the legislative committee said the general response was hampered by chaos and misinformation. Instead of quickly entering two similar classrooms where the shooter was locked up, the committee found, cops searched for shields, backups and keys to a classroom door that was eventually discovered to be unlocked.
State investigators concluded that among the victims died on their option at the hospital. “It is likely that some victims would have survived if they had not had to wait an additional 73 minutes for rescue,” the report said.
Chief Arredondo told the committee that action might have been taken to enter the classroom sooner had he discovered there were still living victims inside. “We probably would have rallied a little more, to say, ‘OK, someone’s in there,'” he said.
In a letter to the city when he stepped down from his council seat, Chief Arredondo said walking away was “in the best sight of the neighborhood” and that he had decided to take steps to “reduce distractions additional”. He said the mayor, council and city staff “should keep moving forward to unite our community, once again.”