Uvalde school police chief not responding to request, DPS says

Southwest

(NewsNation) — The chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District has not responded to a request for a follow-up interview in the Robb Elementary School shooting investigation, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety told NewsNation on Tuesday.

The request for a follow-up interview was made more than two days ago, according to Texas DPS. Chief of Police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Pete Arredondo has yet to respond to the Rangers’ request, DPS reports.

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Arredondo said he would “eventually” and “obviously” explain his decision making that day, which was called “wrong” by the Texas Director of Public Safety, but wanted to be respectful to the families who were burying their loved ones.

“Whenever this is done and the families quit grieving we’ll do that obviously,” Arredondo said.

Arredondo’s alleged lack of response to the investigation comes as funeral services begin for the shooting victims. Arredondo was also sworn in as a newly elected member of Uvalde’s City Council on Tuesday night, though Mayor Don McLaughlin said they skipped the ceremony because the community was still grieving.

The police response to the Uvalde massacre has come under fire after authorities revealed that the gunman who opened fire on the elementary school was inside the school for nearly an hour while more than a dozen officers waited to confront him despite calls to 911 from desperate children inside the school. Officials say Arredondo made the call that officers should wait to confront the shooter.

“They say they [police] rushed in. We didn’t see that,” said Javier Cazares, whose daughter died in the shooting. “As soon as they heard that gunshot, they should have rushed in.”

A total of 19 children and two adults inside a classroom lost their lives before an off-duty Border Patrol agent fatally shot the 18-year-old gunman. At least 17 others were injured.

Many in the grieving community of Uvalde are also coping with outrage over the reported inaction by police.

Director of Texas Department of Public Safety, Steven McCraw, said, “It was the wrong decision.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott shared that he was “livid” and that he felt “misled” by law enforcement officials giving him information about the response.

“The bottom line would be: Why did they not choose the strategy that would have been best to get in there and to eliminate the killer and to rescue the children?” Abbott said.

Despite Arredondo’s lack of response to an interview request, the Texas Department of Public Safety insists that Uvalde police and the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District are still cooperating in their investigation.

The Department of Justice has also stepped in to investigate the shooting to hopefully bring some clarity to decisions made in the school.

A Robb Elementary Memorial Fund account has been opened at First State Bank of Uvalde for the families of Robb Elementary, according to the school district. Donations will be accepted at all FSB branches.

Checks should be payable to the “Robb School Memorial Fund” and can be mailed to 200 E. Nopal St. Uvalde, TX 78801. Donations through Zelle can be sent to robbschoolmemorialfund@gmail.com, according to the school district.

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