Ex-Uvalde school police chief, officer indicted over mass shooting response

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Ex-Uvalde school police chief, officer indicted over mass shooting response

The former police chief of Uvalde schools and another former officer were indicted for their response to the 2022 mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that left 19 children and two teachers dead, according to multiple reports on Thursday. 

A grand jury indicted former schools police Chief Pete Arredondo and former officer Adrian Gonzales on multiple counts of felony child endangerment, per reporting from the Uvalde Leader-News and the San Antonio Express-News. 

The indictments would make Arredondo and Gonzales the first officers to face criminal charges in one of the deadliest shootings in U.S. history.

Fox News Digital has reached out to the Texas Department of Public Safety for comment. 

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Privacy barriers and bike racks maintain a perimeter at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School, after a video was released showing the May shooting inside the school in Uvalde, Texas, U.S., July 13, 2022. (REUTERS/Kaylee Greenlee Beal)

A scathing report by Texas lawmakers that examined the police response described Gonzales as one of the first officers to enter the building after the shooting began.

The indictments come more than two years after an 18-year-old gunman opened fire in a fourth grade classroom, where he remained for over an hour before officers confronted and killed him. 

In total, nearly 400 law enforcement officers responded to Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022, some waiting in the hallway outside the classroom, even as the gunman could be heard firing an AR-15-style rifle inside.

Signs and flowers lay in Uvalde's town square memorial

Visitors from McAllen, Texas, left a sign at the town square memorial in Uvalde. It reads, “Dear children of the world, it’s not supposed to be this way.”  (Ashley Soriano/Fox News)

Arredondo lost his job three months later. Several officers involved were eventually fired, and separate investigations by the Department of Justice and state lawmakers faulted law enforcement with botching their response to the massacre. 

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The DOJ released a 600-page report earlier this year that cataloged what it described as “cascading failures” in training, communication, leadership and technology problems that day. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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