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Uvalde CISD places Pete Arredondo on unpaid administrative leave, cancels Saturday's special meeting

Saturday's meeting was for the school board to consider the superintendent's recommendation to fire Arredondo.

UVALDE, Texas — Uvalde CISD has placed police chief Pete Arredondo on unpaid administrative leave following an investigation into his actions during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.

Arredondo, who has been on paid leave from the district since June 22, has faced blistering criticism since the massacre, most notably for not ordering officers to immediately breach the classroom where an 18-year-old gunman carried out the attack. 

A special meeting was supposed to take place Saturday for the Uvalde school board to consider the superintendent's recommendation to fire Arredondo. That meeting has been canceled and will be held at a later date, the district announced.

RELATED: If Uvalde CISD fires Pete Arredondo, what that means for his license to be a cop

If fired, Arredondo would become the first officer ousted from his job following the deadliest Texas school shooting in history.

School officials have previously resisted calls to fire Arredondo. During the latest Uvalde CISD school board meeting, Superintendent Hal Harrell said Arredondo was a contract employee who could not be fired at will.

Parents made vociferous demands that the superintendent take immediate action to fire Arredondo or his job would be next.

RELATED: 'They're just scrambling' | Parents demanded for Pete Arredondo to be fired, now Uvalde CISD is taking action

The move to potentially fire the chief follows the release of a damning 80-page report by a Texas House committee that blamed all levels of law enforcement for a slow and chaotic response. The report found that 376 law enforcement officers massed at the school, with more than half coming from state and federal agencies, but that they “failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving innocent lives over their own safety.”

According to the committee, Arredondo told lawmakers he didn’t consider himself the on-scene commander in charge and that his priority was to protect children in other classrooms. The committee report called that decision a “terrible, tragic mistake.”

Arredondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent much of his nearly 30-year career in law enforcement in the city. He took the head police job at the school district in 2020 and was sworn in as a member of the City Council in a closed-door ceremony May 31. He resigned from his council seat July 2.

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