UVALDE, Texas — Officials with the Uvalde school district on Friday announced they were suspending the district’s entire police department and getting help from state troopers amid continued outrage over the May shooting that claimed the lives of 21 people, including 19 students, at Robb Elementary School, according to multiple reports.
Two members of the police department were placed on administrative leave, one of whom chose instead to retire, The Associated Press reported, citing a statement from the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.
“We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition,” the statement said.
The decision came after CNN reported that the school district hired a former Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who is among seven of the department’s officers being investigated for their response to the May 24 shooting.
Crimson Elizondo was one of the first law enforcement officers to respond to the shooting at Robb Elementary School, according to CNN. In body camera footage obtained by the news network, she could be heard being asked whether she had children in the school on that day.
“If my son had been in there, I would not have been outside,” she said. “I promise you that.”
News of Elizondo’s hiring sparked new criticism from parents affected by the Robb Elementary School shooting, including those who lost children in the attack, the Austin American-Statesman reported. On Thursday, school district officials confirmed that Elizondo had been fired.
“We are deeply distressed by the information that was disclosed yesterday evening concerning one of our recently hired employees, Crimson Elizondo,” the district said in a statement obtained by the American-Statesman. “We sincerely apologize to the victims’ families and the greater Uvalde community for the pain this revelation has caused. Ms. Elizondo’s statement in the audio is not consistent with the district’s expectations.”
Nearly 400 law enforcement officers responded to the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School. Surveillance footage from the scene showed officers in a hallway of the school minutes after the gunman arrived, although they did not confront the shooter for more than an hour.
Several investigations into the law enforcement response remain ongoing.
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