Grand jury indicts former police chief and officer over response to Uvalde shooting

 July 1, 2024

Americans were horrified two years ago when a gunman's rampage left 21 people dead at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

That tragedy was in the news again last week after a grand jury indicted the school district's police chief as well as an officer over their alleged role in the botched response. 

Officer denies wrongdoing

According to CNN, former Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo and former school police officer Adrian Gonzales were both named in the indictments.

Arredondo is facing 10 counts of child endangerment along with known criminal negligence and turned himself in on Thursday to the Texas Rangers.

Meanwhile, Gonzales entered the Uvalde County Jail early on Friday afternoon. Nico LaHood is the former officer's lawyer, and he told CNN that "Mr. Gonzales' position is he did not violate school district policy or state law."

"The application of this statute, to law enforcement, under these circumstances is unprecedented in the state of Texas. It will take time to evaluate these allegations and the underlying facts," LaHood went on to state.

Victims' parents say process has taken too long

Brett Cross is the uncle and guardian of 10-year-old victim Uziyah Garcia, and he voiced frustration over how long it has taken for anyone to be held accountable.

"We still drown in sadness, there’s still a whole lot of anger because these men have walked around for the last two years, one month and four days, walking around like they didn't do anything wrong," Cross was quoted as telling the network.

Kimberly Mata-Rubio is the mother of 10-year-old victim Lexi Rubio, and she characterized Thursday's indictments as "a win for the community."

"As for the families of victims, nothing will ever change what happened. What we want most we can't have, we want our children and those two teachers back," she lamented.

DOJ report finds "cascading failures" in response by law enforcement

The results of an investigation carried out by the Department of Justice were released in January, and it described "cascading failures of leadership, decision-making, tactics, policy, and training."

"Officers on scene should have recognized the incident as an active shooter scenario and moved and pushed forward immediately and continuously toward the threat until the room was entered, and the threat was eliminated. That did not occur," the report stated.

It also noted that critical "leadership was absent for too long in the Robb Elementary School law enforcement response."

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