UVALDE, Texas — Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin announced that city council members were sworn in on Tuesday, including Pete Arredondo, the school district police chief who has been blamed for law enforcement's failure to engage the shooter at Robb Elementary.
The announcement comes the day after McLaughlin said that the meeting would not take place as scheduled. On Monday, the mayor said the following in a press release:
“Our focus on Tuesday is on our families who lost loved ones. We begin burying our children tomorrow, the innocent victims of last week’s murders at Robb Elementary School. The special City Council meeting will not take place as scheduled."
On Tuesday afternoon, McLaughlin announced that the swearing in did in fact take place, though it's not clear how that process happened.
"Uvalde City Council members were sworn in today as per the City Charter," he said. "Out of respect for the families who buried their children today, and who are planning to bury their children in the next few days, no ceremony was held. Our parents deserve answers and I trust the Texas Department of Public Safety/Texas Rangers will leave no stone unturned."
Arredondo is the police chief for the Consolidated Independent School District. The head of the Texas Department of Public Safety said that he was the incident commander on the scene at Robb Elementary, and that his decision to wait to engage the shooter was "the wrong decision, period."
Standard procedure for an active shooter situation is for law enforcement at the scene to engage and neutralize the threat immediately.
Texas DPS executive director Steven McCraw, in a news conference Friday morning, said there were 19 police officers inside the school but they did not breach the door for about an hour. As they waited, one child who had called 911 asked dispatch to "please send the police now."
Arredondo was elected to City Council several weeks ago. In McLaughlin's statement on Monday, this is what he had to say:
"Pete Arredondo was duly elected to the City Council. There is nothing in the City Charter, Election Code, or Texas Constitution that prohibits him from taking the oath of office. To our knowledge, we are currently not aware of any investigation of Mr. Arredondo."
On Tuesday, Texas DPS officials said that Arredondo is not responding to interview requests from the Texas Rangers in its investigation into the shooting.
This is a developing story.