“From the beginning of this horrible event, I shared that the district would wait until the investigation was complete before making personnel decisions,” Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Hal Harrell said in a statement.
“Today, I am still without details of the investigations being conducted by various agencies. Because of the lack of clarity that remains and the unknown timing of when I will receive the results of the investigations, I have made the decision to place Chief Arredondo on administrative leave effective on this date,” he said.
“He failed us,” Arreola said of Arredondo to council members. “Do not make the same mistake he made and fail us too. Go forward and make it right… please, please, we’re begging, get this man out of our lives.”
Arreola spoke with CNN Wednesday about the pain of losing 10-year-old Amerie as well as the subsequent fallout, with preliminary details from investigations indicating that more could have been done sooner.
“We have to speak for all these children, all these families. We have to make things right, we need to get down to the bottom of everything that has happened and find out the truth.”
“I just don’t get how you can hear these kids crying and asking for help, but you’re scared to enter because your commander doesn’t want you to go in,” he said.
Parents, including himself, “were right outside” the school. “I was trying to get in, I was put into handcuffs,” he said, distraught that police he entrusted “didn’t save my daughter or any of the other kids.”
Arredondo testified to a Texas House committee behind closed doors on Tuesday regarding the day of the shooting and did not comment publicly. CNN has reached out to Arredondo’s attorney for comment.
Uvalde mayor calls out DPS director
While Arredondo has received the lion’s share of public criticism for how police handled the crisis, the mayor of Uvalde was quick to point out Tuesday that he believes other law enforcement agencies also need to be held accountable and provide updates to city officials.
In pointed remarks at the city council meeting, Mayor Don McLaughlin accused DPS director Col. Steven McCraw of shirking his department’s responsibility and noted that officers from at least eight law enforcement agencies were inside Robb Elementary during the shooting.
“Col. McCraw has continued to — whether you want to call it — lie, leak, mislead or misstate information in order to distance his own troopers and Rangers from the response. Every briefing he leaves out the number of his own officers and Rangers that were on-scene that day,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin also described leaks from unnamed sources he said were intended to shift blame over police response away from certain agencies and more toward local law enforcement.
“Col. McCraw has an agenda and it is not to present a full report on what happened and give factual answers on what happened to this community,” the mayor said, adding he was meant to receive a daily briefing from authorities since the day after the shooting but none has been provided.
CNN has reached out to the Texas Department of Public Safety for comment.
CNN’s Jamiel Lynch, Matthew J. Friedman, Amanda Musa, Eric Levenson, Christina Maxouris, Rosalina Nieves, Andy Rose and Amy Simonson contributed to this report.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism