Uvalde police chief faces possible firing 3 months after mass shooting as families prep whopping $27B lawsuit


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The suspended and embattled Uvalde, Texas, school district police Chief Pete Arredondo could learn his fate on whether he’ll be fired on Wednesday – three months to the day after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School and after the victims’ families recently signaled a potential $27 billion lawsuit over the massacre. 

The agenda posted online for Wednesday’s special meeting of the Uvalde Independent School District Board of Trustees includes time for a closed-door session, before resuming for public “discussion and possible action regarding termination for good cause as recommended by the Superintendent of the non-certified contract of Pete Arredondo.” The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. CT. 

A board meeting to consider Arrendondo’s termination was initially scheduled for July 23, but it was delayed at the request of Arrendondo’s attorney, and “in conformity with due process requirements.” As allowed by law, he has remained on unpaid administrative leave since June. 

Charles Bonner, one of the attorneys representing families impacted by the Uvalde shooting, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that they have filed notices of claim for a potential $27 billion lawsuit aimed at holding law enforcement agencies, city council members, school district officials and others accountable for the response to the May 24 shooting that left 19 children and two adults dead. 


Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo, third from left, stands during a news conference outside of the Robb Elementary school on May 26, 2022.
(AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, File)

Bonner said the notice of claim serves as “an invitation for all of the responsible parties to come together and try to reach a settlement” for the families, and if they do not by the end of September, he intends to file the same $27 billion class-action lawsuit in federal court in San Antonio once the Department of Defense concludes its investigation. 

“The people want this chief of police fired,” Bonner told Fox News Digital, responding to a question about his reaction ahead of the hearing considering Arrendondo’s possible termination. “Each of those law enforcement individuals – there were 376 in that school for 77 minutes who did nothing. They did not do what they were supposed to do which was to protect and serve. Instead, they ran away. People have no confidence in them, so they should follow their lead of the people.”

As of Wednesday, Bonner said the notice of claim represents approximately 12 families – including some who lost children in the shooting, and others whose children survived but were left in the zone of danger as the massacre unfolded. He anticipates more families to join the action in the coming days.  

On July 17, a Texas House special committee released a 77-page investigative report regarding the Robb Elementary School shooting. 

It found that a total of 376 law enforcement officers from various agencies responded to the scene that day, including five officers from the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District; 16 from the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office; 25 officers from the Uvalde Police Department; 91 officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety; and 149 officers from the U.S. Border Patrol.

Victims waited over an hour for help until a U.S. Border Patrol tactical unit breached the classroom of fourth graders and killed the 18-year-old suspected gunman, Salvador Ramos. 

Ninety days after the massacre, the absence of any firings has frustrated many Uvalde residents and amplified demands for accountability. Investigations and body camera footage have laid bare how police rushed to the scene with bulletproof shields and high-powered rifles within minutes — but waited in the hallway instead of confronting the gunman. 

Uvalde school officials have been under mounting pressure from victims’ families and members of the community, many of whom have called for Arredondo’s termination. 

Superintendent Hal Harrell had first moved to fire Arredondo in July but postponed the decision at the request of the chief’s attorney. State police and the damning investigative report in July have criticized the police chief of the roughly 4,000-student school district for failing to take charge of the scene, not breaching the classroom sooner and wasting time by looking for a key to a likely unlocked door.

The Robb Elementary School sign is seen covered in flowers and gifts on June 17, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas, the location of a May mass shooting.

The Robb Elementary School sign is seen covered in flowers and gifts on June 17, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas, the location of a May mass shooting.
(Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)


Only one other police official at the scene, Uvalde police Lt. Mariano Pargas, is known to have been placed on leave since the shooting. Pargas was the city’s acting police chief during the massacre. Robb Elementary School Principal Mandy Gutierrez was suspended in late July two months after the mass shooting. 

Meanwhile, Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw, whose agency had 91 officers on the scene, has placed the majority of the blame on Arrendondo. During June 21 testimony before a state Senate committee, McCraw argued that the school district police chief allegedly chose to put the lives of armed officers with protective gear above the lives of children, describing law enforcement response as “an abject failure.” 

The first day of the new school year for the Uvalde Independent School District is scheduled for Sept. 6. 

Uvalde police officers and other law enforcement officers are seen responding to a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in a bodycam video recorded on May 24, 2022. 

Uvalde police officers and other law enforcement officers are seen responding to a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in a bodycam video recorded on May 24, 2022. 
(Uvalde Police Department)

In the aftermath of the shooting, school officials have said the campus at Robb Elementary will no longer be used. Instead, campuses elsewhere in Uvalde will serve as temporary classrooms for elementary school students, not all of whom are willing to return to school in person following the shooting.

School officials say a virtual academy will be offered for students. The district has not said how many students will attend virtually, but a new state law passed last year in Texas following the pandemic limits the number of eligible students receiving remote instruction to “10% of all enrolled students within a given school system.”

Schools can seek a waiver to exceed the limit, but Uvalde has not done so, Melissa Holmes, a spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency, told the Associated Press. 

New measures to improve school safety in Uvalde include “8-foot, non-scalable perimeter fencing” at elementary, middle and high school campuses, according to the school district. Officials say they have also installed additional security cameras, upgraded locks, enhanced training for district staff and improving communication.


However, according to the district’s own progress reports, as of Tuesday no fencing had been erected at six of the eight campuses where it was planned, and cameras had only been installed at the high school. Some progress had been made on locks at three of eight campuses, and communication improvement was marked as half complete for each campus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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