Uvalde School District Police Chief Indicted on Child Endangerment Charges Over School Shooting Response

The former Uvalde, Texas, school district police chief and a district police officer have been indicted by a grand jury more than two years after the Robb Elementary School shooting, in which 19 innocent children and two teachers were killed, according to news sources

Published Time: 28.06.2024 - 18:31:14 Modified Time: 28.06.2024 - 18:31:14

The former Uvalde, Texas, school district police chief and a district police officer have been indicted by a grand jury more than two years after the Robb Elementary School shooting, in which 19 innocent children and two teachers were killed, according to news sources.

Pete Arredondo, Chief of Police at the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department, was indicted on 10 charges of child endangerment in connection with the police response to the 2022 shooting, according to the San Antonio Express-News, Uvalde Leader News and Texas Tribune.

Arredondo, who was placed on administrative leave a month after the massacre before being fired, turned himself into the Uvalde County jail before being released on $10,000 bond, ABC News and the San Antonio Express-News reported.

Former school district police officer Adrian Gonzales was also indicted on 29 counts of child endangerment — one count for each child in the classroom, according to the outlets. Gonzales, who had SWAT training, was the instructor for active shooter training for the Uvalde school police, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

It's not immediately clear if either suspect has entered a plea or retained an attorney.

The Uvalde District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. A lawyer for Arredondo and Gonzales has not been listed. 

The indictment comes after the U.S. Justice Department released its incident review in January that heavily criticized the response of police. The r -

eview found that leadership failures and the officers’ delayed response in attempting to neutralize the gunman — 77 minutes transpired before Border Patrol officers ultimately shot him — prevented more lives from being saved.

Most of the 380 officers from two dozen local, state and federal agencies who responded to the incident had never trained together, the report found.

Arredondo and Gonzales were reported to have been among the first officers that arrived on the scene after the 18-year-old gunman began opening fire at around 11:30 a.m. on May 24, 2022.

Arredondo had been listed as the incident commander on the school district’s active shooter response plan, though he previously told The Texas Tribune that he did not consider himself to be the commanding officer on the scene that day. Other officers told the publication that they disagreed with his decision to wait for “more equipment and more officers” before breaching classroom doors.

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Family members of the victims have said they would like to see more indictments against other responding officers.

“I’m really hoping this is just the beginning of indictments that may be coming down,” Jesse Rizo, whose niece Jacklyn Cazares died in the shooting, told the Texas Tribune. “There are a lot of officers that need to be held accountable.”

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