Embattled Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police chief Pete Arredondo reportedly decided on Friday to resign his position on the city council following the May 24 mass shooting that took the lives of 19 children and two teachers.
Arrendondo was elected to the city council weeks before the shooting at Robb Elementary School and was sworn in on May 31.
He told local reporters that he regretted to inform the people who voted for him that he has decided to step down after “much consideration.” He added that he wanted the city staff, mayor, and council to be able to move on without unnecessary distractions.
Arrendondo said that he continues to grieve and pray for the families involved in the shooting and the entire Uvalde community. He said that he sought input from other communities that had experienced similar tragedies and was told in every case to make the decision he did.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told Fox News that the city has not yet received a written resignation from Arrendondo. He did say that resignation is “the right thing to do.”
After the shooting, Arredondo requested an extended “leave of absence” from the council according to provisions in the city charter. The council denied his request at its June 21 meeting.
Some members of the council noted the charter provides that a council member is automatically deemed to have resigned if they miss three consecutive meetings without having been granted a leave of absence.
Arrendondo was placed on administrative leave from his position as police chief for the school district on June 22.
Texas Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told a state Senate committee the day before that police officers on scene at the school could have ended the massacre within minutes. Under Arrendondo’s command, the shooter was not taken out until 77 minutes after he entered the school.
A report released last month indicated that a police officer on the scene passed on an opportunity to fire on the school shooter. That same report indicated that officers never attempted to open the door to the classroom where the shooter was executing children.
Arrendondo’s annual salary as school district police chief is $90,750.