Pete Arredondo, the man blamed for bungling the response to Uvalde elementary school shooting last week, officially became a city council member Tuesday, the same day state police accused him of not cooperating with an investigation into the incident. Arredondo, the school district police chief who had command of the law-enforcement response to the shooting, has emerged as a central figure in the investigation over what happened during the attack on Robb Elementary School, which left 19 fourth-graders and two teachers dead, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Texas Department of Public Safety, which has responsibility for investigating the response to the shooting, said that law enforcement under Arredondo’s command waited over an hour to go into a set of connected classrooms where a gunman was barricaded.
Despite repeated 911 calls from children inside, DPS officials said the commander mistakenly thought the situation wasn't that of an active shooter but of a barricaded hostage taker. State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde, said Thursday that a state agency told him the children’s 911 calls were relayed to an unnamed city police officer, not Arredondo. DPS has declined to say how many children were in the barricaded classrooms and survived. In addition to those killed, at least 17 people were injured. Central to the investigation is Arredondo, 50,, a Uvalde native described as affable and well-regarded. He liked to teach friends to fly-fish was remembered as an accomplished weightlifter back when he attended the local high school. Two years ago, he was appointed to head the school district force in Uvalde, overseeing five officers.