Uwalde, Texas, locals are battling the role of Police Chief Pete Aredondo in the delay

UWALDETexas – The blame for the painful delay in killing a militant in a Texas elementary school – even when parents outside asked police to rush and children in a panic called 911 inside – has been blamed on a homegrown school district police chief.

It remained the inhabitants of a small town Uwalde struggling to reconcile what they know about the beloved local lawyer after the state police director said the commander at the scene – Pete Aredondo – made the “wrong decision” not to break into Rob’s primary school class earlier, believing that the gunman had been barricaded inside and the children were not at risk.

Stephen McCrow, head of the Texas Department of Homeland Security, told a news conference Friday that after an armed man entered the building, officers waited more than an hour to break into the classroom. Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in the shooting.

Arendondawho grew up in Uwalde and graduated from high school here, was to take the oath on Tuesday before him a new seat on the city council after being elected earlier this month. The 50-year-old has spent most of his nearly 30-year career in law enforcement in Uwaldereturning in 2020 to the post of police chief in the school district.

When Arendonda was a boy, Maria Gonzalez drove him and his children to the same school where the shooting took place. “He was a good boy,” she said.

“He threw the ball, perhaps because he didn’t have enough experience. Who knows? People are very angry, ”Gonzalez said.

Another woman in the neighborhood where Arendonda grew up, began to cry when asked about him. A woman who did not want to give her name, said one of her granddaughters were at school at the time of the shooting but were not injured.

Juan Torres, a U.S. Army veteran who was clearly upset by reports of the reaction, said he knew Arendonda from high school.

“You sign up to respond to such situations,” Torres said. “If you are afraid, do not be a policeman. Flip the burgers over. ”

After being elected to the city council, Arendonda This was reported by Uvalde Leader-News earlier this month he was “ready to crash into the ground.”

“I have a lot of ideas, and I definitely have a lot of drive.” he said, adding he wanted to focus not only on the financial responsibility of the city, but also on the fact that there are projects to repair and improve the streets.

On the forum of candidates before him elections, Arendonda said, “I don’t think there’s anything complicated. Everything has a solution. This decision begins with communication. Communication is the key. “

McCrow said Friday that minutes after an armed man entered the school, city police officers entered through the same door. Law enforcement officers from several departments arrived at the scene for more than an hour. Finally, officials said a U.S. border patrol tactical group used a janitor’s key to unlock a classroom door and kill an armed man.

McCrow said students and faculty have repeatedly asked for help from 911 operators Arendonda said more than a dozen officers were waiting in the corridor. This directive – which contradicts the established protocol of the active shooter – raised questions about whether more lives were lost because the officers did not act faster.

Two law enforcement officials said that when an armed man shot at students, law enforcement officers from other departments called Arendonda to allow them to drive in because children are in danger. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about the investigation.

Arendonda began him a career in law enforcement while working in the Uwalde Police Department. After spending 16 years there, he went to Laredo, a frontier town 130 miles (209 kilometers) south, where he worked in the Webb County Sheriff’s Office and then in the local school district, according to an article in Uvalde Leader-News for 2020. him back to him hometown to take the position of school district police chief.

Ray Garner, district police chief in Laredo Arendonda worked, the San Antonio Express-News said in a post released later Uwalde shooting what if Arendonda worked in the Lared district he was “easy to communicate” and was concerned about the students.

«He is was a great officer, ”Garner told the newspaper. “Down here, we train a lot on active shooting scenarios, and he participated in them.”

Arendondawho only spoke briefly at two brief press conferences on the day of the shooting, appeared behind government officials who spoke at press conferences over the next two days but did not attend Friday’s McCrow press conference.

After this press conference, media representatives agreed on ArendondaThe house and police cruisers occupied the posts there. At one point the man opened the door ArendondaThe Associated Press told reporters the House Arendonda was “dissatisfied.”

“The truth will come out,” the man said before closing the door.

State Senator Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat whose constituency includes Uwaldesaid on CNN’s “State of the Union,” which asks a lot of questions after “so many things went wrong.”

He said one family told him that a rapid response officer told them that their child who had been shot in the back was likely bleeding. “So, absolutely these mistakes may have led to the deaths of these children,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said that while the question of which law enforcement agencies had or should have operational control was a “significant” concern for him, he also “suggested” McCrow “Which unfairly puts it on the local (school) cop.”

“After all, everyone here has failed,” Gutierrez said.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.

Source link