Texas school where gunman shot dead 19 children and two teachers, set to be demolished
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said in an announcement made during a council meeting on Tuesday that a child or teacher “can never be asked to ever go to this school again.”
The Texas elementary school where a teenage gunman shot dead 19 children and two teachers last month is being demolished, the city’s mayor said.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin did not provide a timeline for the school’s demolition.
At a council meeting on Tuesday, he said: “You can never ask a child to go back or a teacher to ever go back to this school.”
The mayor’s announcement comes several hours after a senior Texas official said law enforcement’s response to the Robb Elementary School shooting was “a abject failure” in which a commander put the officers’ lives ahead of the children’s.
In a separate Texas Senate hearing on the May 24 shooting, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) director Steven McCraw said the commander at the scene made “terrible decisions” and that officers at the scene were inadequate been trained, which cost valuable time in which lives could be saved.
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“There is compelling evidence that law enforcement’s response to the attack on Robb Elementary was a miserable failure and goes against everything we’ve learned,” McCraw said.
Many parents and relatives of the children and staff have expressed their deep anger at the actions of the police after the gunman entered Robb Elementary School and started shooting.
One delay McCraw spoke about was finding a key to the classroom where the shooting took place.
He noted the door was unlocked and there was no evidence officers were trying to see if it was secure while others looked for a key.
“There is no way… for the subject to lock the door from the inside,” McCraw said.
Days after the shooting, the Texas DPS said as many as 19 officers waited in a hallway outside Classrooms 111 and 112 for more than an hour before a tactical team led by the U.S. Border Patrol finally entered. McCraw reiterated this at Tuesday’s hearing.
Police handout/ZUMA Press Wire Service/REX/Shutterstock)
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The DPS director said: “The officers had guns, the children did not.
“The officers had body armor, the children didn’t.
“The officers had training, the subject had none.
“One hour, 14 minutes and eight seconds – that’s how long the children and teachers in Room 111 waited for rescue.”
McCraw added, “Three minutes after the subject entered the West Building, there were a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract, and neutralize the subject.”
“The only thing that prevented a corridor of dedicated officers from entering Rooms 111 and 112 was the commander on site, who decided to put the officers’ lives ahead of the children’s lives,” the director said at the hearing.
McCraw said the chief of operations, Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo, “was waiting for radios and guns, and he was waiting for shields, and he was waiting for SWAT.
“After all, he was waiting for a key that was never used.”
Arredondo spoke at neither hearing on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Arredondo said he never considered himself the commander of operations at the scene of the shooting and did not order police to breach the building.
At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, McLaughlin accused McCraw of shifting blame away from state police.
“At every briefing, he omits the number of his own officers and rangers who were on site that day,” the mayor said.
“Colonel McCraw has an agenda and it’s not about giving a full account of what happened and giving factual answers to the families of this community.”
McLaughlin said state officials left the city and its residents in the dark, declaring, “The gloves are off.”
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement he wanted full facts about the shooting to be released to victims’ families and the public as soon as possible.
Uvalde City Council voted unanimously late Tuesday to refuse a leave of absence for Arredondo as a councillor.
Arredondo won the council election shortly before the shooting but has not appeared at the two council meetings since.
Denying him a leave of absence sets the stage for his possible resignation as a councilor if he misses a third straight session.
Arredondo told the Texas Tribune he left his two radios outside of school because he wanted his hands free to hold his gun.
He had said he requested tactical gear, a sniper and keys to get in and stayed away from the doors for 40 minutes to avoid provoking gunfire.
Community members and the victims’ parents called on Arredondo to resign during an impassioned school board meeting Monday, ABC News reported.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/texas-school-gunman-shot-dead-27296823 Texas school where gunman shot dead 19 children and two teachers, set to be demolished