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Former Uvalde police chief faces indictment for actions during Robb Elementary shooting response

Reggie Daniels pays his respects (Via Rob Marsh/Getty Images)

The ex-Uvalde schools police chief has been indicted for his role in the delayed police response to the 2022 shooting at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 children and two teachers, the local sheriff announced Thursday.

Pete Arredondo faces 10 counts of felony child endangerment/abandonment and was briefly held in the county jail before posting bond, according to Uvalde Sheriff Ruben Nolasco’s message to The Associated Press on Thursday night.

Former school officer Adrian Gonzales was also indicted on similar charges, as reported by the Uvalde Leader-News and the San Antonio Express-News.

District Attorney Christina Mitchell confirmed the indictment, although she did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press via phone and email. Family members of shooting victims also did not respond to messages seeking comment.

These indictments mark the first criminal charges against Arredondo, who was commanding the scene during the attack, and Gonzales, one of the first officers to enter the building after the shooting began, according to a critical report by Texas lawmakers examining the police response.

The indictments were initially sealed until the men were in custody, and it remains unclear when Arredondo’s indictment will be publicly released.

The shooting occurred over two years ago when an 18-year-old gunman opened fire in a fourth-grade classroom, remaining there for more than 70 minutes before officers engaged and killed him.

A Uvalde police officers patch and badge is seen as he stands watch over a special city council meeting (Via Benjamin West/Shutterstock)

A total of 376 law enforcement officers gathered at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022, with some waiting outside the classroom as the gunman fired shots from an AR-15-style rifle inside.

State Rep. Joe Moody, who assisted in the state lawmakers’ investigation, expressed empathy on the social platform X: “Today marks another excruciating step in their journey. Their pain will never fade. Today, I hope they find justice and some closure in this process, rather than prolonged suffering.”

Arredondo’s former attorney’s office stated they were unaware if he had new representation. Contact information for Gonzales was not immediately available to The Associated Press.

Arredondo was dismissed from his position three months after the shooting, and several involved officers were subsequently terminated. Separate investigations by the Department of Justice and state lawmakers criticized law enforcement for mishandling their response to the tragedy.

The possibility of criminal charges against any officers in Uvalde has lingered since the Texas Rangers finished their investigation and handed their findings to prosecutors.

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