Pete Arredondo, the embattled police chief in the school district where 19 children and two teachers were killed in a shooting, is resigning from his position on the city council, city officials have announced.
A local Uvalde, Texas newspaper first reported Arredondo’s decision to quit, which city officials later confirmed.
Arredondo, the police chief for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, served as incident commander during the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24. and a delay in breaching the classrooms where the shooter carried out the attack.
Arredondo was elected to the Uvalde city council in early May and was sworn in days after the school shooting. He told the Uvalde Leader-News on Friday that he considering resigning from his position on the city council, according to the local newspaper.
Following the release of the report, the city of Uvalde said it had not seen a resignation letter or spoken to Arredondo. The Uvalde city manager’s office told ABC News on Saturday afternoon that the city council had just received his written resignation. The city called his resignation “the right thing to do.”
In his resignation letter obtained by ABC News, Arredondo said that “it is in the best interest of the community to resign as a member of the District 3 City Council in order to minimize further distractions.”
“The mayor, city council and city staff must keep moving forward to unite our community again,” he continued.
Arredondo and his representatives did not respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.
A dozen people, including some of the victims’ relatives, came out in the afternoon heat on Sunday to demand that Arredondo step down as the school’s police chief and district attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee to withdraw.
Uziyah Garcia’s mother, Mandy Renfro, was around the corner from the makeshift memorial in downtown, holding a sign that read, “Bravery has called… she wants her badges back.”
Uziyah’s uncle, Brett Cross, held a sign that read “families deserve the truth.”
The protest followed a council meeting on Thursday when families confronted the mayor and Uvalde city council, demanding answers about the investigation.
News of Arredondo’s resignation comes after Uvalde City Council last week rejected Arredondo’s request to be absent from future meetings, in an effort to be more transparent following criticism over the management of the shooting by law enforcement.
Arredondo has not been present at three meetings since being sworn in, including a heated hearing Thursday in which the families of the victims demanded more information about what happened on that tragic day.
The school district placed Arredondo on administrative leave last week, effective immediately, amid several ongoing investigations into the shooting.
Arredondo defended the police response in a rare interview with The Texas Tribune last month.
“Not a single officer ever hesitated even for a moment to put himself in danger to save the children,” Arredondo told the newspaper. “We responded to the information we had and had to adapt to whatever we were faced with.”
He added: “Our goal was to save as many lives as possible, and the extraction of students from classrooms by everyone involved saved over 500 of our students and teachers from Uvalde before we had access. to the shooter and eliminated the threat.”
He also told the newspaper that he did not consider himself the commander on the scene that day.
At an emotional school board meeting last week, parents and community members called for Arredondo to step down. Several have argued that law enforcement should be held partly responsible for the tragedy due to what has been described as improper decision-making.
Nineteen law enforcement officers waited 77 minutes in the hallway outside the classroom containing the shooter, after Arredondo mistakenly believed the situation had escalated from an active shooter to a barricaded subject, law enforcement said.
Arredondo testified last week for nearly five hours at a hearing on the shooting held in an executive session by the Texas state House of Representatives. A special Texas State Senate panel is also investigating the shooting.
The Uvalde District Attorney is also investigating the shooting, and the U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing law enforcement’s response.
ABC News’ Julia Jacobo, Teddy Grant, Samira Said, Aaron Katersky and Melissa Gaffney contributed to this report.