Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde school district police chief who authorities say made the “wrong decision” not to immediately confront an active shooter at Robb Elementary last week, was scheduled to be sworn in as a new city council member in the town on Tuesday, but that ceremony has been called off for now, NBC News reports.
The suspect in the shooting, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, crashed a truck near the school at 11:28 a.m. on Tuesday then started firing shots at the school before walking in through a door that was ajar minutes later.
Law enforcement from multiple agencies responded to the scene and Arredondo assumed the role as incident commander, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw.
As 19 officers gathered in the hallway, McCraw said that Arredondo thought the situation had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject, and that they had time to wait for tactical equipment and keys to unlock the classroom’s door.
“He was convinced at the time that there was no more threat to the children and that the subject was barricaded and that they had time to organize,” McCraw said Friday.
“Obviously, based on the information we have, there were children in that classroom that were still at risk. From the benefit of hindsight where I’m sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. Period.”
Ramos is accused of murdering 19 children and two adults before a Border Patrol team breached the classroom he was in and killed him more than an hour after the shooting began.
Arredondo became the chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District in March 2020 and was elected to Uvalde’s District 3 council seat on May 7, according to the Uvalde Leader News.
The Uvalde CISD Police Department hosted an active shooter training at Uvalde High School, where Ramos was a student, on March 21, just two months before the shooting at Robb Elementary School.
A course guide for the active shooter training program states that “the student will be able to compare/contrast an active shooter event and a hostage or barricade crisis.”
“A simple barricade crisis develops when an armed actor(s) isolates themselves with little or no ability to harm innocent others. Barricaded subjects pose the greatest threat when attempts are made to enter the space and subdue them,” the course guide reads.
The Uvalde city manager told NBC News that the meeting to swear in Arredondo as a city council member on Tuesday was “not happening.”
Arredondo could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.
The Justice Department announced Sunday that they will conduct a review of the police response to the shooting at the request of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin.
“The goal of the review is to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events,” DOJ spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement.
Fox News’s Adam Sabes contributed to this report.