Uvalde school board fires police chief after mass shooting

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The Uvalde school district fired police chief Pete Arredondo for allowing a gunman with an AR-15 style rifle to remain in a fourth-grade classroom for more than an hour, killing 19 children and two teachers.

Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo, third from left, stands during a news conference outside of the Robb Elementary school (AP Photo)

The Uvalde school district fired police chief Pete Arredondo on Wednesday under mounting pressure in the grieving Texas town to punish officers over letting a gunman at Robb Elementary School remain in a fourth-grade classroom for more than an hour with an AR-15 style rifle as 19 children and two teachers were killed.

In a unanimous vote, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s board of trustees fired Arredondo in an auditorium of parents and survivors of the May 24 massacre, making him the first officer to lose his job following one of the deadliest classroom shootings in U.S. history.

His ouster came three months to the day after the tragedy, and less than two weeks before students return to school in Uvalde, where some children remain too scared or scarred to go back inside a classroom.

Cheers from the crowd followed the vote, and some parents walked out of an auditorium in tears. Outside, several Uvalde residents called for other Uvalde officers to follow Arredondo out the door.

“Coward!” some in the audience yelled as the meeting got underway.

Arredondo, who has been on leave from the district since June 22, has come under the most intense scrutiny of the nearly 400 officers who rushed to school but waited more than 70 minutes to confront the 18-year-old gunman in a fourth-grade classroom.

READ | Halfway through 2022, US has witnessed 309 mass shootings, nears record-breaking numbers

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