The police chief of the Uvalde, Texas, school district is resigning from his community’s city council amid criticism of the response to a shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in May.

Pedro “Pete” Arredondo told the Uvalde Leader-News that he is stepping down from the city council position he was appointed to, just seven days after the massacre. exit reported on Saturday.

According to the Leader-News, Arredondo continued to maintain that he was not the commander of the officers who waited more than an hour before confronting and killing the shooter in Robb on May 24. His statement contradicts the findings of the head of the state Department of Public Safety, which concluded that Arredondo called for the arrest of the officers that tragic day, even though they had enough numbers and weapons to stop the carnage long before they did. .

Arredondo told the Leader-News he offered prayers for the families of the school shooting victims.

“Talking to other communities that have experienced similar tragedies, the guidance has been the same: continue to support the families, continue to support our community and certainly keep our faith,” Arredondo said.

Arredondo missed the first two City Council meetings during his tenure and faced expulsion from the panel for a third unexcused absence. Late last month, the City Council rejected a request to grant him a leave of absence that would have protected him from expulsion from the body if he missed more than two meetings.

Residents came out to a meeting where the council was considering the holiday and urged their colleagues to vote for it. Some said he had failed the slain students and teachers on the day of the attack, while a relative of one victim said: “We’re asking – get this man out of our lives.”

Before leaving the council, he was appointed to v paid administrative leave from his position as the school district’s police chief while federal and state investigations into the officers’ response to Robb’s attack continued.

Residents have considered calling off Arredondo if he insists on keeping his seat on the city council. Fewer than 50 signatures would be required to hold an election, but local laws prevented residents from taking that step until next February.

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