The Texas cop under scrutiny for how he handled the response to the Uvalde school massacre stayed out of sight under police protection Saturday — while an angry neighbor slammed him as a “coward.”
Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo made the call that the carnage at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday had gone from an “active shooter” situation to a “barricaded suspect” standoff, which a top state cop admitted was “the wrong decision.”
State investigators are probing whether Arredondo even had a police radio on him when he made the decision, a law enforcement source told The Post.
Police waited more than a half-hour to breach the door to two classrooms connected by a bathroom where 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos was locked in with children, some of who were alive and made numerous calls to 911.
“Pete Arredondo is a coward. He didn’t do his job. He failed the children,” said neighbor Lydia Torres, 56.
Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo is reportedly staying at his home with security guarding the area.Uvalde CISD Police Department
Torres spoke as local police spent the day guarding Arredondo’s home. The embattled chief repeatedly declined to comment Saturday.
Torres was furious Arredondo, who heads the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police, had gone to ground since the state’s top cop revealed new details of the police response. At least 19 officers were in the hallway as Ramos shot at the door, but police didn’t advance until a tactical unit arrived and killed the gunman, authorities said.
Local cops have kept guard outside Arredondo’s house around the clock.
“I do not understand why the police from Uvalde, Texas, are guarding Pete Arredondo’s home,” Torres said. “He is hiding in his home, requesting the PD patrol the area and guard his home day and night. He should come out and speak up.”
The emotional Uvalde woman said parents of kids killed by Ramos deserved an explanation from Arredondo about why he didn’t storm the classroom sooner.
Two women comfort each other at a memorial in Uvalde’s town square.James Keivom
Children bring flowers to a memorial at Uvalde’s town square on May 27, 2022.James Keivom
“I want to know why the 19 police officers in the hallway didn’t take action immediately, when the children were begging for help,” she said. “If they can not protect the children and citizens of Uvalde, Texas, then they have no business in law enforcement.
The latest from the Texas school shooting
“They may as well go flip burgers somewhere else.”