Who is Pete Arredondo? Uvalde Police Chief Facing Investigation

Pete Arredondo is the chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and has faced significant criticism for his actions during the Robb Elementary School shooting last week.

Arredondo reportedly prevented nearly two dozen officers from forcing their way into a classroom to confront the gunman, who killed 19 children and two teachers. He now faces an investigation into his and the police force's conduct during the active shooter situation.

The shooter fired more than 100 rounds with a military-style rifle. Arredondo reportedly made the call to wait for more resources before confronting the shooter.

Who is Pete Arredondo?
Pete Arredondo is the chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and has faced significant criticism for his actions during the Robb Elementary School shooting. Pete is pictured as Victor Escalon, Regional Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety South, speaks during a press conference on May 26, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. Eric Thayer/Getty

Three weeks ago, Arredondo was also elected to the city council in Uvalde and was scheduled to be sworn in as a member of the council a week after the shooting.

However, according to MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, that meeting was set to be canceled but was later confirmed to have gone ahead by the Uvalde mayor, Don McLaughlin. On Tuesday evening, the mayor's office released a statement about the swearing in of council members.

"Uvalde City Council members were sworn in today (Tuesday) as per the City Charter," the statement said.

"[Out] of respect for the families who buried their children today, and who are planning to bury their children in the next few days, no ceremony was held."

The statement also addressed the concerns around the police's conduct and also asked people for support as they grieve this tragedy.

"Our parents deserve answers and I trust the Texas Department of Public Safety/ Texas Rangers will leave no stone unturned," the statement said.

"Our emotions are raw, and hearts are broken, and words are sometimes exchanged because of those emotions. I ask everyone to pray for us, the citizens of Uvalde as we grieve, and live through the pain, and the healing process."

In a previous statement, McLaughlin said Arredondo was "duly elected" to office and there is "nothing in the City Charter, Election Code, or Texas Constitution" that prohibits the police chief from taking the oath of office.

McLaughlin supporting the police chief arrives days after McLaughlin made headlines for calling Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke a "sick son of a b****" for interrupting Greg Abbott's press conference on the mass shooting to criticize the Republican governor about his lack of action on gun control.

Police have offered conflicting accounts of how the shooting unfolded. But as details emerged, local police were condemned online as "cowards." Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw also joined the critics as his agency launched an investigation, led by the Texas Rangers, into the handling of the shooting.

As part of their investigation, the Texas Rangers had been in touch with Arredondo, but he now hasn't answered any of their requests in two days for follow-up interviews, reports the Texas Tribune.

The school district has a police force separate from the city's police. Aside from Arredondo, both police forces have been cooperating, the news outlet reports, citing an agency spokesperson.

The U.S. Justice Department earlier said it was reviewing the police response to the shooting.

Newsweek has contacted the Uvalde Police Department and the Mayor's office for comment.

Update 6/1/22, 10:13 a.m. ET: This article was updated with additional information.