‘He killed our kids’: Families call for Uvalde schools police chief’s termination during meeting
UVALDE, Texas (KXAN) — More calls to fire the Uvalde school district’s police chief came during Monday night’s school board meeting.
A handful of people made their appeals to school board members, including family members of those murdered during the mass shooting.
“We were failed by Pete Arredondo. He killed our kids, teachers, parents and city, and by keeping him on your staff, y’all are continuing to fail us,” said Brett Cross, identifying himself as a father of a murdered student.
Cross added he still has kids in the school district, and all of them are scared. So is he.
“Having Pete still employed, knowing he is incapable of decision-making that saves lives, is terrifying,” he said. “Do what is right. Remove Pete from employment.”
A few days after the attack, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said Arredondo made the wrong call when, acting as commander on the scene, he told officers to wait to breach the shooter’s classroom.
“I find it shameful that we had almost 100 officers on the scene, and I had to leave work and save my own,” said another parent, Angeli Gomez.
Another man said he was there on behalf of friends and family.
“How is Mr. Arredondo still with the program? How is he still employed?” he said. “It’s an insult to injury, because people are in pain, and you allow this to happen.”
It’s the second meeting since the May 24 tragedy, when an 18-year-old killed 19 students and two teachers.
At the last meeting, the superintendent announced no one would return to Robb Elementary, the site of the massacre, and UCISD was working on another location to send students.
Javier Cazares, the father of murdered student Jacklyn Cazares, pointed out security protocols on Monday he said he had gotten from UCISD in the past and pointed to what he thought were flaws in them.
“Every campus has a team to identify and address potential threats,” Cazares read. “Who was that team and when was the last time they came?”
Another man, who identified himself as victim Amerie Jo Garza’s father, cried as he recounted trying to convince officers to let him inside Robb Elementary.
“I had officers from the department look me in the eye, because I was trying so hard to get in there and ask me to trust them,” he said. “How are we supposed to continue our lives here, knowing that those people that are supposed to protect us let down our family?”
He said he and other families want accountability.
“There are so many questions that everybody obviously has, you know, if he was in charge, why didn’t he have a master key? Why didn’t they go in?” said Garza’s father.
“Most of these parents don’t want to be here. But we’re here because we have to speak for our children, because they can’t speak for themselves, anymore. So please, just do us a favor, and do what you know is right, and make these people accountable for what happened,” he said.
UCISD school board members went into a closed session around 8:15 p.m. Items listed for discussion on the agenda included security personnel, security devices and a possible security audit.
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