EducationIssuesLocal NewsStatewide NewsUvalde School Board Unanimously Votes to Fire Police Chief Pete Arredondo

The school board unanimously voted to terminate his contract exactly three months after the shooting that took the lives of 21 people.
August 25, 2022
In a school board meeting on Wednesday, the Uvalde Independent School District fired Chief Pete Arredondo as he faces scrutiny over his response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School that killed 19 teachers and two children.

The termination, unanimously approved by board members, took effect immediately.

Representing Arredondo, attorney George Hyde published a lengthy statement deriding school district officials and defending his client.

“It is beyond any doubt that discharge from public employment under circumstances that put the employee’s reputation, honor or integrity at stake gives rise to a liberty interest under the Fourteenth Amendment to a procedural opportunity to clear one’s name,” Hyde wrote.

Among a litany of complaints and alleged violations of Arredondo’s constitutional rights, Hyde claimed that he is “the victim of death threats made by individuals with the means to carry them out.”

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The statement also focused blame on the perpetrator and criticized those who are lambasting Arredondo.

“One could blame God. Why did God let this happen? But those with faith in God, excuse such atrocities, by maintaining faith that it is all in God’s plan. Certainly, and without question, the only person responsible for this tragedy is the shooter himself,” Hyde wrote. “He is the one person who could have saved everyone if he could have changed his mind and his plan to hurt the innocent and seek death from a Police Officer’s bullet.”

The law enforcement response has been widely condemned, including by Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw and in a report published by a Texas House investigative committee.

McCraw condemned the “abject failure” of police and the Texas Legislature described it as “egregiously poor decision making.” Nearly 400 officers were on scene, but it was not until 77 minutes after the attack began that a tactical team of border agents neutralized the 18-year-old gunman.

Residents of Uvalde could soon file a $27 billion class-action lawsuit against law enforcement departments and gun manufacturers.

Within a week of the mass murder, the U.S. Department of Justice began investigating the police actions during the shooting.

Prior to being fired, Arredondo had been on unpaid leave.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."