Pete Arredondo, the chief of the varsity district police power in Uvalde, Texas, resigned as a member of the Uvalde Metropolis Council on Friday amid continued outrage over the sluggish police response to a taking pictures at Robb Elementary College in Might.

In a letter addressed to the town, Mr. Arredondo stated that after a lot consideration, “it’s in the very best curiosity of the neighborhood to step down as a member of the Metropolis Council for District 3 to attenuate additional distractions.”

He added that the mayor, the town council and the town employees “should proceed to maneuver ahead to unite our neighborhood, as soon as once more.”

His resignation was first reported by The Uvalde Leader-News.

Mr. Arredondo was elected to the town council shortly earlier than a gunman killed 19 college students and two academics at Robb Elementary College on Might 24. On June 22, Uvalde’s faculty police power introduced that it had positioned Mr. Arredondo on administrative depart after the state’s high regulation enforcement chief known as the police response “an abject failure.”

Mr. Arredondo was among the many first officers to reach on the faculty after the taking pictures started. In accordance with the director of the state police, Steven McCraw, he was additionally the incident commander for the response. Although officers from a number of companies entered the varsity minutes after a gunman opened hearth in two linked lecture rooms, they waited greater than an hour earlier than confronting and killing him.

Mr. Arredondo has defended his decision-making that day and stated in an interview with The Texas Tribune that he didn’t imagine that he was accountable for the response. The taking pictures and the police response are the topics of a number of investigations, together with one by the U.S. Justice Division.

Town council has posted movies of three council conferences which were held for the reason that taking pictures. Mr. Arredondo doesn’t seem in any of them.

“I feel it was the best factor for him to do,” Don McLaughlin, the mayor of Uvalde, stated in a textual content message of Mr. Arredondo’s determination to resign. “We didn’t know something about it till we noticed it posted on the paper’s website.”

On June 21, metropolis council members met to debate Mr. Arredondo’s request for a depart of absence. One after the other, Uvalde residents stood earlier than the council and known as for Mr. Arredondo to step down.

First to the rostrum was Jazmin Cazares, 17, who misplaced her sister and cousin within the taking pictures.

“After selecting to attend an hour for backup, as a substitute of ordering officers to take down the shooter, he’s confirmed he can’t do his job,” Ms. Cazares stated. “How am I purported to give up grieving, particularly figuring out he did nothing to guard my sister, my cousin, her buddies and her academics?” After extra residents spoke, the Uvalde Metropolis Council voted to disclaim Mr. Arredondo’s request for a depart of absence.

One week later, a neighborhood nonetheless reeling from grief welcomed the information of Mr. Arredondo’s resignation.

Martin Herrera, who misplaced a grandson and has been serving to a surviving granddaughter get better from the horror of the day, known as the resignation a step in the best course. Mr. Herrera stated Mr. Arredondo also needs to vacate his publish as the varsity police chief instantly. However Mr. Herrera stated he additionally wished to see others who botched the response and the aftermath face penalties.

Leonard Sandoval, whose grandson Xavier Lopez was killed within the taking pictures, stated Mr. Arredondo “ought to have resigned so much sooner.”

Hugo Cervantes, one of many residents who rushed to Robb Elementary College after listening to pictures fired, stated Mr. Arredondo’s determination gave the impression to be not more than one other improvement that delayed justice for the households. He recalled pleading with armed officers to enter the varsity and being informed that “all the pieces was OK,” although folks may nonetheless hear gunshots.

“The reality is that they might have saved many kids and didn’t,” Mr. Cervantes stated. “That is all too little, too late.”

J. David Goodman contributed reporting.