Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, the embattled Uwald School police chief who led law enforcement’s flawed response to last week’s school shooting and has remained out of the public eye since, spoke exclusively to CNN on Wednesday , and denied that it answered substantive questions about the Holocaust.
Arredondo did not respond to a request for a follow-up interview with the Texas Rangers investigating the Rob Elementary School shooting, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
But outside his home, Arredondo told CNN’s Aaron Cooper on Wednesday, “I’m in touch with DPS every day.”
A few minutes later, outside his office, he told CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz that he would not release any further information while the funeral continued.
“We will respect this family,” he said. “We’ll do it at some point. When this is all done and the family is no longer grieving, of course we’ll do it.”
It was the first time Arredondo spoke since two brief press statements on the day of the attack, in which he said the gunman was dead but gave no information about the shooting, citing an ongoing investigation. He didn’t ask any questions at the time and hasn’t appeared on any public forums since.
Nineteen children and two teachers were killed in last Tuesday’s attack, and officials have so far not answered key questions about why it took police about 80 minutes to break through two locked classroom doors and confront the gunman.
Last week, the school police chief, identified by DPS as the commander, chose not to enter the room, but instead stood in the back and waited for support — even as the children inside called 911 multiple times and sought police help.
A Customs and Border Protection tactical team eventually entered the room with the janitor’s keys and shot the suspect, DPS said.
DPS chief Steven McGraw did not name Arredondo but said the boss made the “wrong decision” not to engage with the shooter sooner. The commander decided to treat the situation more like a locked suspect than an active shooter, he said.
Established law enforcement policy in the aftermath of the 1999 Columbine school shooting urges police to stop the shooter as soon as possible in a shooting.
Arredondo has worked in law enforcement for nearly 30 years and in March 2020 became Chief of Police for the Uvalde Unified Independent School District (CISD) Police Department.
He completed a school-based training course for active-duty law enforcement shooters in December 2021 while in that role, according to job training documents obtained by CNN. He also completed a school-based training course for active duty law enforcement shooters at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office in August 2020.
He also completed the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Program Terrorism Response Strategy in June 2019, according to the document. According to the National Center for Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology, the ALERRT program is designed to teach police officers life-saving techniques after active shooting, such as: B. Tourniquet application.