Schools Police Chief Indicted in Uvalde Shooting Response

Pete Arredondo, the former chief of the school district police in Uvalde, Texas, has been indicted and arrested over his actions during the police response to the 2022 school shooting in which a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers, the Uvalde County sheriff said on Thursday.

“Mr. Arredondo is currently in our custody,” the sheriff, Ruben Nolasco, said in a text message, adding that Mr. Arredondo was being held on the charge of “abandoning/endangering of a child.”

Christina Mitchell, the district attorney for Uvalde, and lawyers for Mr. Arredondo did not respond to requests for comment.

The indictment, which comes more than two years after the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School, suggests failures in the police response beyond poor decision-making, accusing Mr. Arredondo, who was in charge of the six-person department with jurisdiction over Uvalde schools, of bearing criminal responsibility for his actions that day.

Even before the grand jury began convening this year, the police response had been the subject of overlapping investigations, including by the U.S. Justice Department, a committee of the Texas Legislature and an investigator hired by the city of Uvalde. Each found serious flaws in the actions of officers who responded to the shooting at Robb Elementary School.

Ms. Mitchell conducted her own investigation and presented evidence to the grand jury.

Mr. Arredondo was among the first officers to arrive at Robb Elementary, just minutes after the gunman entered the school through an unlocked door and began firing at children and teachers in a pair of connected classrooms with an AR-15-style rifle.

He and other school district officers, along with others from the local Police Department, moved toward the sound of gunfire, but as they reached the classrooms’ doors, the gunman fired at them and they retreated to a safe place down the hall.

Mr. Arredondo, who left his radio behind in his car as he rushed into the school, has said that he did not believe he was in charge at the scene and also that he took steps to evacuate other parts of the building to save more lives.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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