Former Uvalde Police Chief in Custody, Facing Charges for Response to Robb Elementary School Shooting

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Former Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo and another former officer are facing charges of child endangerment for their response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in 2022.


Arredondo was reportedly in custody at the Uvalde County jail. These are the first criminal charges against law enforcement officers in connection with the shooting.

The former chief of the Uvalde school district police and a former officer have been indicted on charges of child endangerment for their roles in the bungled police response to the 2022 massacre at Robb Elementary School.

A Uvalde County grand jury indicted then-Chief Pedro "Pete" Arredondo and then-officer Adrian Gonzales on charges of abandoning/endangering a child, a state jail felony.

Nineteen fourth-graders and two teachers were killed during the May 24, 2022, incident, the deadliest school shooting in Texas history. 

The response to the shooting has been widely criticized, with many speculating that lives could have been saved if law enforcement had responded differently. There were almost 400 officers on the scene, but none of them entered the building to confront the shooter until over an hour after he began the massacre. The officers’ actions came under federal scrutiny:

In January, the U.S. Justice Department released the results of an exhaustive investigation which found that leadership failures caused needless delays in neutralizing the gunman while children lay bleeding in their classroom. The review was not a criminal investigation; it was a "critical incident review" review to identify lessons to be learned.

That investigation and other official inquiries faulted Arredondo for deciding early on to treat the shooter as a barricaded subject rather than an active threat to children in the classroom. Under police doctrine, officers are supposed to act immediately to take down an active shooter, even at risk to their own lives. In contrast, with a barricaded subject, time is not of the essence, and police can weigh their options.

“Had law enforcement followed generally accepted practices in an active-shooter situation and gone right after the shooter to stop him, lives would have been saved, and people would have survived,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in releasing the Justice Department report.


Earlier this year, the families of the victims reached a settlement with the city.

The families will continue with lawsuits against law enforcement officers, the school district, and other officials over the failures to bring a quick end to the May 24, 2022, shooting rampage in the school:

As part of the settlement, Uvalde will pay the families a total of $2 million from its insurance coverage, according to a statement from attorneys Josh Koskoff and Erin Rogiers.

In addition, the city pledged to institute several policy changes to the police department, such as a new “fitness for duty” standard for police officers. The city will also establish May 24 as an annual Day of Remembrance, will create a committee to coordinate designing a permanent memorial and will support mental health services for the families, survivors and community, the attorneys said.

The terms of the settlement were reached through a “restorative justice process” between impacted families and the city, the attorneys said. Pursuing further legal action against Uvalde could have bankrupted the city, a result that none of the families wanted, they added.

The shooting prompted calls for more gun restrictions. However, Texas’ government responded by passing legislation aimed at beefing up security measures in schools, making them harder targets to deter would-be mass shooters.



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