11 people were killed in the mass shooting on Wednesday

courtesy of the LA Times Chief Pete Arredondo of the Uvalde School Police Department, third from the left, speaks at a press conference outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, two days after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers there. In the words of Dario Lopez-Mills, AP:

It was revealed on Wednesday that the Uvalde school district’s police chief had made mistakes in his response to the Robb Elementary School shooting, which left 19 students and two teachers dead.

According to Superintendent Hal Harrell of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, the facts surrounding the incident are still unclear, so he has placed Chief Pete Arredondo on administrative leave. When asked about Arredondo’s actions during the attack, Harrell said he didn’t know when details of multiple investigations into the response of law enforcement to the slayings would be made public.

It was always my intention to wait until the investigation was complete before making any personnel decisions,” Harrell said after the incident. “I have decided to place Chief Arredondo on administrative leave effective immediately due to the lack of clarity that remains and the unknown timing of when I will receive the results of the investigations.”

When asked if Arredondo would be paid while he was on leave, school district spokesperson Anne Marie Espinoza refused to answer.

According to Harrell, the chief’s duties will be taken over by another officer.

Arredondo made “terrible decisions” during the May 24 massacre and the police response was a “abject failure,” Texas Department of Public Safety director Col. Steven McCraw testified at a state Senate hearing on Tuesday.

McCraw testified that the gunman was apprehended in three minutes after he entered the school with Salvador Ramos, an 18-year-old student. For more than an hour, officers with rifles stood in a school hallway as the gunman carried out the massacre. According to McCraw, officers did not attempt to open the classroom door while the shooter was inside because it could not be locked from the inside.

Parents pleaded with police outside the school for officers to enter the building, and students in the classroom begged 911 operators for assistance as more than a dozen officers waited in a hallway, according to McCraw. Arredondo was urged by officers from other agencies to allow them to move in because of the danger they posed to children.

When a group of officers were ready to enter Rooms 111 and 112, only the on-scene commander stood in their way because he put officer safety first.

Paul Bettencourt, a Republican state senator, told the hearing that Arredondo should have resigned immediately.

After observing the man’s response, Bettencourt opined: “This man should have removed himself from the job immediately.”

The Associated Press has reached out to Arredondo and his lawyer numerous times, but neither has responded to our inquiries.

When asked by the Texas Tribune if he considered himself the commander in charge of operations, the chief said he assumed that someone else had taken control of the law enforcement response. He claimed to have used his cellphone to summon a sniper, tactical gear, and classroom keys because he was missing his police and campus radios.

However, it’s not clear how long officers waited for entry, how they communicated with each other and what their body cameras captured during the attack.

As a result of the investigation, officials have refused to release additional information.

Arredondo, 50, was born and raised in Uvalde, where he has spent most of his nearly 30-year career as a police officer. He was sworn in as a member of the City Council on May 31 in a ceremony held behind closed doors, and he assumed his position as the district’s chief police officer in 2020.

The Los Angeles Times first published this story.