The Texas cop under scrutiny for his handling of the response to the Uvalde school massacre remained offsite under police protection on Saturday – while an angry neighbor called him ” cowardly”.
Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo said the carnage at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday went from an “active shooter” situation to a “barricaded suspect” standoff, which a senior state official admitted to being “the wrong decision”.
State investigators are investigating whether Arredondo even had a police radio on him when he made the decision, a law enforcement source told the Post.
Police waited more than half an hour to force open the door to two classrooms connected by a bathroom where 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos was locked up with children, some of whom were alive and made numerous calls at 911.
“Pete Arredondo is a coward. He didn’t do his job. He let the kids down,” neighbor Lydia Torres, 56, said.
Torres spoke as local police spent the day guarding Arredondo’s house. The beleaguered chef repeatedly declined to comment on Saturday.
Torres was furious Arredondo, who leads the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police, had broken down since the state’s top cop revealed new details about the police response. At least 19 officers were in the hallway when Ramos fired at the door, but police did not advance until a tactical unit arrived and killed the shooter, authorities said.
Local cops stood guard outside Arredondo’s house 24 hours a day.
“I don’t understand why the police in Uvalde, Texas are guarding Pete Arredondo’s house,” Torres said. “He is hiding at his house, asking the PD to patrol the area and guard his house day and night. He should come out and talk.
Uvalde’s emotional wife says the parents of children killed by Ramos deserve an explanation from Arredondo as to why he didn’t storm the classroom sooner.
“I want to know why the 19 policemen in the hallway didn’t react immediately, while the children were asking for help,” she said. “If they can’t protect the children and the citizens of Uvalde, Texas, they have no business in law enforcement.
The latest from the Texas school shooting
“They might as well go flip burgers somewhere else.”