Uvalde police chief Pete Arredondo has resigned from the Uvalde city council following the mass shooting that took place at the city’s Robb Elementary School em maio 24, de acordo com Uvalde Leader-News.
“After much consideration, I regret to inform those who voted for me that I have decided to step down as a member of the city council for District 3,” Arredondo said in a statement to the outlet on Friday. “The mayor, the city council, and the city staff must continue to move forward without distractions. I feel this is the best decision for Uvalde.”
The police chief continued, “As we continue to grieve over the tragedy that occurred on May 24th, we pray for the families involved and our community. Uvalde has a rich history of loving and supporting thy neighbor and we must continue to do so. In speaking with other communities that have had similar tragedies, the guidance has been the same… continue to support the families, continue to support our community, and definitely, to keep our faith.”
“As I think about my life, from growing up as a child and to adulthood, Uvalde has held an attraction that is very unique. At the center of that attraction, is our community members. Juntos, we will keep Uvalde strong,” ele adicionou. “Uvalde strong, Uvalde home.”
Arredondo was elected to the District 3 council position on May 7 and was sworn into the role on May 31, only seven days after the May 24 mass shooting, the Uvalde Leader-News reported.
Em um demonstração obtained by CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz, the City of Uvalde said that it has not received any communication from Arredondo about his resignation.
“While it is the right thing to do,” a declaração lida, “no one from the City has seen a letter or any other documentation of his resignation, or spoken with him.”
A declaração, which promised further information once properly informed by Arredondo, also noted the council’s next steps in their vacancy policy.
The city council of Uvalde did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Arredondo was previously placed on administrative leave nearly one month after a gunman marched onto campus and took the lives of 19 innocent children and two teachers. It is unclear whether he had been placed on paid or unpaid leave.
The police chief was one of the first officers to respond to the scene, de acordo com O jornal New York Times.
Em um comunicado à imprensa, Superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell said, “From the beginning of this horrible event, I shared that the district would wait until the investigation was complete before making personnel decisions.”
“Hoje, I am still without details of the investigations being conducted by various agencies,” continued Dr. 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.”
Concluded Dr. Harrell: “Lieutenant Mike Hernandez will assume the duties of the UCISD Chief of Police. We will continue to seek qualified candidates to join our police department as we prepare for the new school year.”
Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, anteriormente disse a repórteres that it was the “wrong decision” to wait before breaching the classroom doors days after the 18-year-old gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School.
“There were plenty of officers to do what needed to be done, com uma exceção, is that the incident commander inside believed he needed more equipment and more officers to do a tactical breach at that time,” said McCraw.
Not all officers agreed with Arredondo’s decision, no entanto. One of the officers who was standing outside the school said that he and his colleagues discussed whether to go into the school anyway.
“There was almost a mutiny,” the officer told PEOPLE. “Nós éramos como, ‘There’s a f—ing gunman in the school, we hear gunshots, and we’re just going to stand here with our thumbs up our asses?’ We wanted to go in and save lives. It was the most frustrating situation of my entire career.”
Arredondo defended his decision to delay confronting the gunman, dizendo The Texas Tribune last month that he did not consider himself to be the commanding officer on the scene that day.
VÍDEO RELACIONADO: Uvalde Officers Could Have Stopped Gunman ‘Within 3 Minutos’ If Commander Hadn’t Hesitated
In phone interviews and statements provided to the Tribuna through his lawyer, Arredondo said that he never told any officers to stand down from breaching the building and that no one told him about the 911 calls that came in during the 77 minutes before the gunman was shot.
“Not a single responding officer ever hesitated, even for a moment, to put themselves at risk to save the children,” Arredondo told the publication. “We responded to the information that we had and had to adjust to whatever we faced.”
“We were looking to him for guidance,” one of Arredondo’s subordinate officers told PEOPLE immediately after the incident. “We wanted him to tell us what to do. He was the chief. He knew the school building better than anyone. So he knew we were all looking to him for decisions. I was literally five feet away from him as we asked what we should do.”
De acordo com para a San Antonio News Express, surveillance footage seems to indicate that neither Arredondo nor any other officer ever attempted to open the doors where the gunman held two classrooms full of children — and that one of the doors may have been unlocked the whole time.
PEOPLE has reached out to Arredondo’s attorney for further comment.
The school district in Uvalde has opened an official account with First State Bank of Uvalde to support Robb Elementary families affected by the tragedy. People can send checks through the mail (payable to the “Robb School Memorial Fund”) or donate money through Zelle to email@example.com. People can also donate by calling 830-356-2273.