Pete Arredondo: Ex-Uvalde Police Chief Leads a Quiet Life Today

When 18-year-old Salvador Ramos opened fire at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022, nobody could’ve ever imagined the chaos that would ensue within the community for accountability. It’s undeniable he had the most significant role to play in the 21 lives lost that day, yet their families soon couldn’t help but wonder if any of it was avoidable, as indicated in ABC’s ‘Print It, Black.’ Thus came their advocacy for a ban/limitation on assault weapons as well as doubts over the actions of Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo.

Who is Pete Arredondo?

Pete Arredondo first developed an interest in our justice system as a young boy growing up in Uvalde, Texas, only for it to continue expanding as the years passed. He, hence, didn’t hesitate for a moment upon graduating high school to enroll at Southwest Texas Junior College for the police academy and then also pursued management at Sam Houston State. So, the fact he actually followed this up by kickstarting his career at the Uvalde Police Department was no surprise, making his intentions of bettering the community by ethically serving very clear.

However, following roughly 16 years of active dedication, Pete ultimately amicably parted ways with the department for good so as to heed his secondary passion of entrepreneurship in Laredo, Texas. It wasn’t until a decade later (in 2020) that he returned to his hometown to take up the mantle of Chief for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department (UCISD PD). Then came his being elected to the Uvalde City Council on May 7, 2022, owing to how he’d reportedly helped improve the entire unit over the past few crucial years, just for it to change soon.

We specifically mention this because Pete was amongst the first few officials to arrive on site once the May 24 mass school shooting commenced, yet he had no idea he was the incident commander. Therefore, his treating this active shooter as a “barricaded subject” instead of anything else inadvertently affected every other officer’s primary response to this complex situation, too. The fact he then waited for over an hour — 77 minutes — before even engaging with the shooter didn’t match anyone’s expectations of what was required either, resulting in him receiving backlash.

According to Pete’s account, he was waiting for a key to open the locked 4th-grade classroom door where Salvador was because it was nearly impossible to kick in owing to hefty steel jambs. He was even worried it would cause the latter to use his loaded AR-15 rifle again, but “the only thing that was important to me at this time was to save as many teachers and children as possible. He further added, “Each time I tried a key, I was just praying… My mind was to get there as fast as possible, eliminate any threats, and protect the students and staff,” but sadly, it did not work out.

Where is Pete Arredondo Now?

Although Pete Arredondo has always vehemently disputed the characterization of his role during the mass shooting as incident commander, he was let go/fired by the Uvalde school board on August 24, 2024. By this point, he’d already resigned from his position on the Uvalde City Council (on July 2), yet what bothered him most in the ensuing months was the scrutiny of the public eye at every step. It, thus, comes as no surprise he even appealed to a state agency in January 2023 to re-designate his dismissal as an “honorable discharge” instead of the questionable “general discharge,” but to no avail.

Pete’s appeal was initially granted, but once higher-ups from the UCISD PD learned he’d sought the status change and contested publicly, privately, and on paper, it was reversed to the original verdict. A Texas House investigative committee had already deemed this tragedy a result of cascading errors from “systemic failure” before spreading the blame to several departments as well as the shooter. Coming to Pete’s current standing, this 52-year-old family man has since preferred to lead a life well away from the spotlight to avoid any issues with prying eyes, meaning we, unfortunately, do not know much about his recent personal or professional experiences.

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