With the first funerals from last week’s school shooting taking place this week in Uvalde, Texas, the city’s mayor has postponed a city council meeting at which several new members were to be sworn in – including school police chief, Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, who had been elected to the council earlier this month.
“Our focus on Tuesday is on our families who lost loved ones,” Mayor Don McLaughlin said in a Monday statement. “We begin burying our children tomorrow, the innocent victims of last week’s murders at Robb Elementary School. The special City Council meeting will not take place as scheduled.”
During the massacre, children in the classrooms repeatedly called 911, begging for help.
At a Friday press conference, Texas Department of Public Safety director Col. Steven McCraw confirmed that the Uvalde school district police chief was the official who made the decision not to breach the classrooms – though McCraw did not identify Arredondo by name.
“Pete Arredondo was duly elected to the City Council,” the mayor’s statement continued. “There is nothing in the City Charter, Election Code, or Texas Constitution that prohibits him from taking the oath of office. To our knowledge, we are currently not aware of any investigation of Mr. Arredondo.”
Arredondo has nearly three decades of law enforcement experience, according to the school district.
A board of trustees for the school district approved Arredondo to head the department in 2020. The district’s superintendent, Hal Harrell, said in a Facebook post at the time the board was “confident with our selection and impressed with his experience, knowledge, and community involvement.”
In March, Arredondo posted on Facebook that his department was hosting an “Active Shooter Training” at Uvalde High School in an effort to prepare local law enforcement to respond to “any situation that may arise.”
The Justice Department announced Sunday that it will conduct a review of the law enforcement response to the mass shooting.
Clarification: This headline has been updated to clarify that a special city council meeting, where a swearing-in ceremony had been planned, was canceled.
CNN’s Curt Devine contributed to this report.