Yesterday, Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District fired a new hire and suspended two officers; today, it suspended the entire department.
“Recent developments have uncovered additional concerns with department operations,” noted a district statement. “As a result of the recent developments, Lt. Miguel Hernandez and Ken Mueller have been placed on administrative leave, and the District has made the decision to suspend all activities of the Uvalde CISD Police Department for a period of time.”
Mueller, the director of student services, elected to retire, the statement noted, adding, all other current force members would be assigned different duties within the district.
Former Department of Public Safety officer Crimson Elizondo was hired by the district after resigning as a state trooper. Angry parents recognized her from video footage of police response to the May 24 shooting where 19 Robb Elementary School students and two teachers were fatally shot.
Elizondo was among the first law enforcement officers to respond to reports of a school shooter. On released body camera footage, according to a CNN report, she may be heard replying to fellow officers who asked if she had children at Robb Elementary that day.
“If my son had been in there, I would not have been outside,” she said. “I promise you that.”
Parents of children killed by the 18-year-old shooter were outraged by her hiring.
“It wasnt your baby, right? Thats why you didnt go in “Officer Elizondo” ?” demanded Kimberly Garcia in a Twitter post Wednesday. “She was there WITHIN MINUTES? But her child wasnt in there so it didnt matter. MY child WAS IN THERE! My child was SCARED! She was in danger! Those babies and 2 teachers were in there! McCraw RESIGN NOW!”
The district fired Elizondo Thursday.
Former Police Chief Pete Arredondo was fired during the summer after months of community outrage around his continued employment.
District officials announced they will hold off rebuilding the police department and hiring a new chief until reviews of the May tragedy are complete. Two separate investigations are reviewing actions of officers to understand why none of the almost 400 law enforcement personnel present attacked the shooter immediately.
“The District has requested the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide additional troopers for campus and extra-curricular activities,” said district officials in their statement. “We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition.”
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