The Robb Elementary School massacre that led to the murder of nineteen schoolchildren and two adults is already one of the worst failures in U.S. law enforcement history.
But new information has come to light that has led to the immediate suspension of the entire school police force and two school officials put on administrative leave.
“The District has made the decision to suspend all activities of the Uvalde CISD Police Department for a period of time. Officers currently employed will fill other roles in the district,” a statement from the district said.
Lt. Miguel Hernandez and Ken Mueller were put on administrative leave, and then Mueller elected to retire.
“The District has requested the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide additional troopers for campus and extra-curricular activities,” the statement added. “We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition.”
The district stated that the measures were being taken in light of “recent developments.”
As CNN reported on Thursday, Crimson Elizondo, one of the state troopers to arrive on the scene within two minutes of the mass shooter entering the school, was fired after she made an illuminating comment while on bodycam.
“She is seen in her Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) uniform, handgun drawn, outside the school building in Uvalde, and then briefly in the hallway on the body camera footage from another law enforcement officer,” CNN noted.
“If my son had been in there, I would not have been outside,” she said. “I promise you that.”
Her remark nonetheless squares with the view of many parents at the scene who were held back by police to keep them from intervening in the mass shooting.
Video of the school massacre released in June shows that police officers were fully equipped to potentially prevent further loss of life by intervening in the attack.
“New surveillance video is shedding new light about what equipment officers had,” KENS 5 in San Antonio reported. “And when this screen grab of the video was just tweeted by Tony Plohetski, a reporter at our sister station in Austin, you can see multiple officers inside the Rob Elementary hallway with rifles and at least one shield,” the reporter noted.
“This is timestamped at 11:52 AM the day of the shooting, but law enforcement did not break into the classroom until 12:50 PM. That’s 58 minutes later as officers waited in the hallway, children were inside the classroom calling 911, begging for help,” the report continued.
“Tony Plohetski reports, investigators believe this shows officers had more than enough equipment to break into the classroom sooner than they did,” the report added.
Plohetski tweeted a screenshot from the video.
Meanwhile, a report from WFAA reveals that police did not even try to open the doors where the shooter was inside. A teacher had earlier requested that the lock on the door be fixed, but maintenance had failed to secure the door prior to the mass shooting. Police officers waited for over an hour for a janitor to give them a key to a door that was not locked.
A lieutenant with the Texas Department of Public Safety later confessed that the police officers refused to intervene sooner because “they could’ve been shot.”
The timeline of events shows that the Uvalde shooter was inside the school for nearly 80 minutes before law enforcement stopped his attack.
NPR reports that nearly 400 law enforcement officials total were at the Uvalde mass shooting scene but failed to stop the shooter before it was too late.
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