Five Questions Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo Needs to Answer

Over a week after the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, residents and the families of the victims of the tragedy that saw 19 children and two teachers die are now grappling with the police chief's role in the delayed response to the unfolding emergency.

Teenage gunman Salvador Ramos was shot 78 minutes after police were informed of the presence of a man with a gun at the school, as officers were reportedly told to wait before storming into the classroom where the shooter was attacking.

There's been a lot of questioning over the police's response to the shooting at the school—mainly about whether a quicker intervention by officers could have saved some of the lives lost last week.

This delay in the police's response to the shooting was only revealed after incorrect information was shared by officials (there was no armed officer at the school's entrance, as was initially reported) and a timeline of the attack showed baffling gaps.

Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo
Questions are now being thrown at the man who's considered responsible for giving officers the order to wait. In this combination image Pete Arredondo the chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, Crosses adorn a makeshift memorial for the victims of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 31, 2022 Getty

These questions are now being thrown at the man who's considered responsible for giving officers the order to wait: Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo.

Why Did He Stop Uvalde Police From Going Into the School to Confront the Shooter?

Despite the fact that the gunman continued to shoot throughout the 78 minutes it took police to enter the classroom at Robb Elementary School, the commanding officer on the scene, Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, reportedly determined that the situation was that of a barricaded subject and not an active shooter.

This decision was critical in determining the officers' response to the situation. While in the case of an active shooter officers have the duty to immediately respond to try to stop the assailant and minimize the risk to people involved, in the case of a barricaded subject there's not the same sense of urgency. In the case of a barricaded subject, there's technically no threat to civilians.

Arredondo made the decision to wait for more resources to protect the safety of police officers rather than put them at risk by facing the gunman. While it's not clear why Arredondo made this decision, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw admitted it was "the wrong decision."

"There's no excuse for that," he added.

Why Is He Not Speaking to the Press?

Arredondo has not been talking to the press since addressing the media in two press conferences on the same day of the attack, May 24.

At these brief news conferences, Arredondo provided little more information other than to confirm the death of the shooter, saying there was an active investigation on the case.

Uvalde school shooting
Locals and the families of the victims are questioning why the police took so long to take down the shooter who killed 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Above, mementos decorate a makeshift memorial for the shooting victims outside Robb Elementary School on May 28, 2022. CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Is He Cooperating With Texas Rangers Investigating the Police Response?

The Texas Department of Public Safety said that Arredondo has stopped cooperating with state investigators trying to assess who holds responsibility for the delay in the police's response to the shooting on May 24.

The department added that Arredondo has not responded to requests for information for over two days after responding to an initial interview.

Why Did He Take His Place on the City Council in Secret?

While being in the eye of the storm that followed the tragic school shooting, Arredondo was secretly appointed to the Uvalde City Council on Tuesday. The school police chief was seen at the Uvalde City Hall taking the oath for a place in the City Council to which he had been elected last month.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin wrote in a statement that the public swearing-in ceremony for Arredondo and other elected members of the council originally set for Tuesday was canceled "out of respect" for the families of the Uvalde victims. But Arredondo and the others still took their oaths of office, in private.

Will He Resign Over His Actions?

While there are still many questions left unanswered, many are demanding Arredondo resign over his decision to delay the officers' response to the Uvalde shooting.

Social media are flooded with comments of outraged users calling him incompetent and cowardly for failing to send officers to the classroom where Ramos was while children were calling 911 for help.

Arredondo, who has almost three decades of law enforcement experience, was appointed by the board of trustees for the Uvalde school district in 2020.