Former Uvalde school police chief charged with 10 counts of ‘abandoning and endangering’ Robb Elementary survivors

Written by on June 29, 2024

(UVALDE, Texas.) — Former Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo has been indicted in connection with the investigation into the 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, court records show.

Arredondo was charged with 10 counts of abandoning and endangering a child in connection with 10 of the Robb Elementary survivors, according to the indictment.

Arredondo was booked into the Uvalde County jail Thursday night and released from custody after posting bail, according to Sheriff Ruben Nolasco. Arredondo’s last known attorney of record, George Hyde, had no comment when contacted by ABC News.

A second person has also been charged, according to ABC Austin affiliate KVUE. KVUE, the San Antonio Express-News and Uvalde Leader News reported that the second person indicted is former Uvalde School District police officer Adrian Gonzales.

Sheriff Nolasco confirmed to ABC News Friday afternoon that Gonzales is currently in custody at the Uvalde County jail.

The charges were first reported by the San Antonio Express News.

The indictment alleges that, after hearing shots fired, Arredondo failed to identify the shooting as an active shooter, failed to respond as trained, and instead, called SWAT, thereby delaying the response by law enforcement..

The indictment also alleges that he chose to negotiate with the gunman instead of engaging; failed to timely provide keys and breaching tools; failed to determine if the classroom door was locked; failed to follow the school district’s active shooter policy; and failed to develop an immediate action plan.

Arredondo, in a recorded interview with investigators the day after the shooting, said he did not view himself as the “incident commander,” contrary to the active shooter plan he devised. He was subsequently terminated for his actions during the shooting.

Nineteen students and two teachers were killed in the massacre at Robb Elementary on May 24, 2022.

Ana Rodriguez, the mother of 10-year-old victim Maite Rodriguez, told ABC News Thursday, “The fact that these two people are being held accountable doesn’t change anything for me, it doesn’t bring her back.”

Rodriguez said the indictments do not equate to “complete justice,” saying, “Not everyone who … needs to be held accountable is going to be held accountable.”

Javier Cazares, the father of 9-year-old victim Jackie Cazares, said of the charges, “It’s something.”

“They are going to finally bring someone to justice,” he said, adding, “We feel there should be more facing charges.”

The Justice Department released a scathing report earlier this year after it found “critical failures” before, during and after the shooting, and major departures from established active-shooter protocols.

Uvalde District Attorney Christina Mitchell began her criminal investigation into the law enforcement failures shortly after the shooting and convened a grand jury to review evidence against hundreds of officers in January.

Mitchell initially said in May 2023 that she had been “optimistic” that the investigation would be completed by the one-year mark, but added that it was “not surprising” that it was still ongoing “given the magnitude of this investigation.”

Anne Marie Espinoza, director of communications and marketing for Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, released a statement Thursday, saying, “As we have done and continue to do, we extend our sincerest sympathies to all who lost loved ones.”

“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this challenging situation,” Espinoza said.

ABC News’ Ismael Estrada, Jenny Wagnon Courts, Josh Margolin, Emily Shapiro and Mireya Villarreal contributed to this report.

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