The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD) canceled a school board meeting that was set to consider firing UCISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo just two days after the recommendation to fire Arredondo was placed on the agenda.
District Superintendent Hal Harrell recommended the police chief’s firing following law enforcement failures during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in late May. According to an agenda released earlier this week, the school board was set to discuss Harrell’s recommendation in a special meeting Saturday, but CNN reported Friday that the meeting has been canceled and will be moved to an undetermined date.
“In conformity with due process requirements, and at the request of his attorney, the meeting to consider the termination of Chief Arredondo will be held at a later date which has yet to be determined,” the UCISD wrote in a statement.
The embattled police chief will be on administrative unpaid leave until the meeting is finally held, the district added, according to CNN.
Arredondo was placed on leave last month as criticism against him mounted when more details came out on the police response to the shooting in which a lone gunman killed 19 children and two teachers. Nearly 400 law enforcement officers responded to the scene of the shooting, but the shooter remained in the classroom for 77 minutes before officers breached the door and killed him.
Recently released footage of the school’s hallway showed officers standing outside the classroom for over an hour while the shooter was still in the classroom with the victims, some of whom were still alive and calling 911 for help.
Body cam footage obtained by CNN also showed Arredondo attempting to negotiate with the shooter from down the hall, The Daily Wire previously reported.
“Let me know if there’s any kids there or anything!” Arredondo said on tape. “This can be peaceful!”
JUST IN: Exclusive body cam video from the law enforcement response to the Uvalde, TX school shooting. @ShimonPro obtained the video from the city’s Mayor.
It shows just how chaotic the situation was: pic.twitter.com/VppNuJ1d7b
— Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) July 17, 2022
In early June, Arredondo spoke with the Texas Tribune, addressing some of the criticisms of his response and claiming officers acted appropriately.
“Not a single responding officer ever hesitated, even for a moment, to put themselves at risk to save the children,” Arredondo said. “We responded to the information that we had and had to adjust to whatever we faced. Our objective was to save as many lives as we could, and the extraction of the students from the classrooms by all that were involved saved over 500 of our Uvalde students and teachers before we gained access to the shooter and eliminated the threat.”
The UCISD police chief also told the Tribune that when he arrived on scene, he did not consider himself the commanding officer, even though his department was the first to arrive on scene. Arredondo further explained that no one told him that students in the classroom were calling 911 as the shooter continued his killing.