Ovaldi School Police Chief: Focus turns to reaction to the shooting, and the decision not to send officers inside

Colonel. Stephen McCro, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, did not name the official at a news conference Friday, but said he had made a “wrong decision” not to deal with the gunman sooner.

The Chief of Uvald School District Police is Pedro “Pete” Arredondo.

“A decision was made that this was a limited objective case,” McCro said of the incident commander’s “thought process” at the time.

Meanwhile, children in classrooms at Robb Elementary School 111 and 112 in Ovaldi repeatedly called 911 and asked for help, he said. They were in the midst of the deadliest school shooting since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

“From taking advantage of hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course wasn’t the right decision,” McCroe said of the supervisor’s call not to confront the shooter. “It was a wrong decision. Period. There is no excuse for that.”

McCraw declined to comment after reporters insisted on whether Arredondo was at the scene during the shooting.

Texas State. Greg Abbott said Friday he is demanding a full account of what happened during the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Ovaldi, but said he had no say in whether the school district police chief should be fired.

“In terms of his employment status, it’s something that is out of my control and I have no knowledge of,” Abbott said. “Every action undertaken by all of these officials will be known, identified and explained to the public.”

Arredondo hasn’t talked about the shooting publicly since two very brief press releases on the day of the tragedy.

CNN attempted to reach Arredondo at his home on Friday, but there was no response.

Arredondo was identified on the Uvalde Education School website as the chief of police and presented as chief of police at Tuesday’s press conferences in the hours following the Robb Elementary shooting.

At press conferences, Arredon stated that the gunman was dead, but provided little other information about the massacre, citing an “active investigation” and not answering questions from the assembled.

Arredondo has nearly three decades of law enforcement experience, according to the school district, and was recently elected to a seat on Uvalde City Council.

The school district’s Board of Trustees approved Arredondo to head the department in 2020. District Manager, Hal Harrell, said in a Facebook post at the time the board was “confident in our selection and impressed with his experience, knowledge, and community involvement.”

Arredondo told Uvalde Leader-News after his appointment that he was happy to return to work in his hometown and wanted to emphasize education and training in the police department. “We can never get enough training,” he told the newspaper.

In March, Arredondo posted on Facebook that his administration is hosting “active shooting training” at Uvalde High School in an effort to prepare local law enforcement to respond to “any situation that may arise.” A flyer for his event on the topics covered will include law enforcement priorities in schools and how to “stop the killing.”

Arredondo previously served as a captain in a school district police department in Laredo, Texas, and in multiple roles with the Uvalde Police Department.

CNN’s Andy Rose contributed to this story.

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