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Grand Jury Indicts Fmr Police Chief, Officer Over Deadly Massacre

A Texas grand jury on Thursday indicted former Uvalde Schools Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo and former officer Adrian Gonzalez in connection with the Robb Elementary School shooting, which left 19 elementary school students and two teachers dead.

Both officers now face charges of child abandonment/endangerment and state jail felony charges. according to The indictment is being kept sealed until the two former employees are in custody. They will be the first to be charged in connection with the May 2022 incident. (Related: Reporter asks DPS chief how many children would have been saved if door had been broken down)

A Texas grand jury has been investigating the incident for six months and has heard direct testimony, including from Colonel Steve McCraw, head of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), according to the Austin American-Statesman. The DPS came under fire for its response after the incident, including the firing of two officers for stalling during the massacre.

During the shooting, the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, reportedly barricaded himself inside a fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary School 30 to 60 minutes before authorities stepped in. Despite arriving on the scene at 11:44 a.m., authorities didn't enter the school until around 12:50 p.m., CNN reported. report at that time.

A US Department of Justice report released in January said “cascading failures” in the police response led to the deaths of students and teachers.

“Failures of leadership, training and policies resulted in 33 students and three teachers – many of whom were shot – being trapped in a room with the shooter for over an hour while police officers remained outside,” the report said. read.

McCraw said at a news conference that it was unclear how many lives might have been saved if authorities had entered the room earlier, and argued they were waiting for more equipment and other officers to make a “tactical entry.”

Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez resigned in March after an independent report revealed misconduct by officers in his department.

It is unclear whether the two former employees have been arrested, but if convicted, they could face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine, The Austin American-Statesman reported.

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