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Uvalde school police chief arrested for his response to 2022 shooting on charges of "neglect and endangerment of a minor"

Following an independent investigation by District Attorney Christina Mitchell, Peter Arredondo was taken into custody by the County Sheriff.

UvaldeCordon Press

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Authorities in Texas arrested Peter Arredondo, former chief of the school district police in Uvalde, for his actions on the day of the massacre that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school.  According to the county sheriff, Arredondo was arrested on charges of "neglect and endangerment of a minor." 

"Mr. Arredondo is currently in our custody," Sheriff Ruben Nolasco confirmed in dialogue with The New York Times.

According to the indictment against him, which comes more than two years after the event that shook the country on May 24, 2022, the police failed in their response.  At the time Arredondo was in charge of a six-person department in that jurisdiction.

"Even before the grand jury began convening this year, the police response had been the subject of overlapping investigations, including those by the U.S. Department of Justice, a committee of the Texas Legislature and an investigator hired by the city of Uvalde.  All found serious deficiencies in the actions of the officers who responded to the Robb Elementary School shooting," the NYT reported.

The investigation was led by prosecutor Christina Mitchell, who conducted an investigation on her own and presented relevant evidence in front of a grand jury.

On the day of the massacre Arredondo was one of the first to arrive at Robb Elementary.  Along with other district officers, they headed toward where the gunshots were coming from, but when they reached the door they were dispersed by the shooter's gunfire.

According to his testimony, he did not believe he was in charge of the operation and also claimed that he took steps to evacuate others in the building.

The families' lawsuit

In late May, the families of the 19 shooting victims announced a lawsuit against the Texas State Police for their actions during the May 24, 2022 massacre. The response, they allege, could have been much more effective.

The text seeks to hold some 92 officers, members of the Uvalde Police, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Texas Department of Public Safety, accountable.  According to the lawsuit, better use of time could have saved lives.

"For 77 minutes, 26 members of the Uvalde Police Department failed to confront an 18-year-old armed with an AR-15, and no disciplinary action has ever been taken - no firings, no demotions, no transparency - and the families are anxious for that to change.  But the healing process must begin, and the commitments made today by the city, in particular, are a step in that critical process," the families' attorney, Josh Koskoff, told ABC News at the time.

Among the names mentioned in the lawsuit was also that of Peter Arredondo, now in the custody of local authorities.