The Uvalde, Texas school district has suspended its entire police force indefinitely, officials announced Friday. The district and its police force are under renewed criticism after it was revealed that a former Texas Department of Public Safety officer who was one of the first to respond to Robb Elementary School on May 24 — and who didn’t even bother to get her body armor or long rifle out of her patrol car and sat in the hallway of the school during the attack because it wasn’t her child in the school — had been hired by Uvalde CISD.
That officer, Crimson Elizondo, was fired Thursday, the day after a CNN special aired containing Elizondo’s recorded comment and cowardice.
The district said it’s requested more Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to be stationed on campuses and at extra-curricular activities, adding, “We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition.”
Lt. Miguel Hernandez, who was tasked with leading the department in the fallout from the attack, and Ken Mueller, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s director of student services, were placed on administrative leave. Mueller elected to retire, according to the school district.
“Officers currently employed will fill other roles in the district,” the school district said.
The Houston Chronicle reported on Elizondo’s conduct and firing on Thursday.
According to a report from CNN, the officer identified as Crimson Elizondo, was one of the first members of the Texas Department of Public Safety to arrive at Robb Elementary after 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos entered the school and began his rampage. Elizondo reportedly arrived at the school just two minutes after Ramos gained entry.
However, Elizondo failed to bring her tactical body armor or her long rifle into the school in accordance with standard procedures, CNN reports. Body cam footage obtained by the outlet shows Elizondo in her trooper uniform standing outside of the school building and then briefly in the hallway. She remained mostly outside and once the gunman was killed, she helped escort students out of the classrooms. A source close to the investigation told CNN that she was not comfortable going inside the school without her gear.
According to the CNN, Elizondo is one of seven DPS officers who’s under investigation by Texas DPS’s inspector general, but was hired by Uvalde CISD over the summer despite the fact that in body camera footage she’s heard telling other officers:
“If my son had been in there, I would not have been outside. I promise you that.”
A statement was issued by Uvalde CISD announcing Elizondo’s firing:
“We are deeply distressed by the information that was disclosed yesterday evening concerning one of our recently hired employees, Crimson Elizondo. We sincerely apologize to the victim’s families and the greater Uvalde community for the pain that this revelation has caused,” the statement reads. “Ms. Elizondo’s statement in the audio is not consistent with the District’s expectations. Effective today (October 6), Crimson Elizondo has been terminated from her position with the Uvalde CISD.”
Understandably, parents of the children massacred that day are livid that this woman who left their children to die was hired by the district.
It wasnt your baby, right? Thats why you didnt go in “Officer Elizondo” ? 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!
— Kimberly Garcia (@kim_amerie) October 6, 2022
I don’t want to hear that it is difficult to prosecute. Not now. She knew those kids, my baby, were in danger. It just wasn’t her child. McCraw, I’ll be waiting on your promised resignation.
— Kimberly Mata-Rubio (@kimrubio21) October 6, 2022
What mother would leave another mothers babies in those rooms to die! If this isn’t proof enough, then what the hell is??????? This is proof that @Uvalde_CISD does not care about our children. How can she resign from DPS during an investigation and get hired to work @Uvalde_CISD https://t.co/52Gb2jrq7w
— Gloria Cazares (@GloriaCazares82) October 6, 2022
The district promised Thursday that it was awaiting results of a management and organizational review before making further personnel decisions.
“Regarding the remaining UCISD Police Department employees, we continue to make personnel decisions based on verifiable information. An independent investigation is underway to evaluate the actions of the current officers on May 24, 2022. Additionally, we are awaiting results of a management and organizational review of the UCISD Police Department that will aid the district in taking informed actions to further ensure the safety and security of our schools.”
Maybe watching the CNN report would be a first step, since it’s apparent that the information is publicly available.