Uvalde’s acting chief of police was suspended on the day of the school massacre
The acting police chief of Uvalde on the day of the Robb Primary School massacre has been furloughed, according to the city mayor.
Mayor Don McLaughlin said the measures were against Lt. Mariano Pargas was apprehended while officers were trying to determine if he was responsible for taking command after the gunman entered the school and murdered 19 students and 2 teachers.
The move was announced on Sunday as Texas The House Inquiry Committee released the report on its findings on the May mass shooting, severely criticizing the law enforcement response.
Mr McLaughlin told the victims’ families about the suspension in a private meeting, according to CNN.
Last month, Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who has admitted to forgetting his police radio and not believing he was responsible for the scene, was also suspended.
“Due to the remaining uncertainty and the unknown timing of when I will receive the results of the investigations, I have made the decision to place Chief Arredondo on administrative leave effective that date,” said Hal Harrell, superintendent of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District said in a statement in June.
The report states that Chief Arredondo tried to find a key to the classrooms where the shooter was, but no one bothered to check that the doors were actually locked.
“Arredondo’s search for a key absorbed his attention and wasted precious time, delaying the break-in into the classrooms,” the report reads.
The preliminary report says nearly 400 police officers were at the school on the day of the shooting, but that they wasted “precious time” ensuring their own safety rather than prioritizing “rescuing innocent victims”.
“At Robb Elementary, law enforcement responders failed to maintain active marksman training and failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety,” the report reads.
And it added: “The leadership gap could have contributed to the loss of life as injured victims waited over an hour for help and the attacker continued to fire his weapon sporadically.”