At Uvalde City Council Meeting, a Big No-Show

Embattled school police chief Pete Arredondo, newly elected to council, bailed on his first meeting
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2022 6:17 AM CDT
Uvalde School Police Chief Bails on City Council Meeting
Pete Arredondo, third from left, stands during a news conference outside of the Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on May 26.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

(Newser) – The Texas school district police chief who's been accused of waiting too long to order law enforcement to confront the gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde has said that he'd "eventually" answer questions about the mass shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers last month. "Eventually" apparently wasn't Tuesday, as he didn't show up for his first meeting of the City Council he's been newly elected to. NBC News notes Arredondo won a seat on the council on May 7, before the May 24 massacre, and that he was sworn in during a private ceremony a week after it.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said he didn't know why Arredondo didn't show for Tuesday's meeting, noting he hadn't spoken to him in more than a week, per Insider. "We want facts and answers like everybody else," McLaughlin said, adding when asked about how he feels about Arredondo now being on the City Council: "Pete Arredondo was elected by the people in his district. It is up to his district and his people and Mr. Arredondo to what he wants to do." The AP notes that the gunman in the shooting spent about 80 minutes inside the elementary school, with more than an hour elapsing between when law enforcement officers followed him in and when he was killed.

Arredondo was believed to be the incident commander at the time. Alfred Garza III, whose 10-year-old daughter Amerie Jo was killed, and who attended the meeting to see if any other information about the shooting would emerge, says he had "mixed feelings" about Arredondo being a no-show, but that he doesn't have a lot of "ill will" toward him, as there were many people involved in the response. However, "they did take a long time to get in there," he adds. There's been no comment yet from Arredondo himself on the missed meeting. (Read more Uvalde mass shooting stories.)

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