UVALDE, Texas (KXAN) — The Uvalde school district said Friday it will suspend all activities of its police department and has placed two of its top officials on administrative leave after the Robb Elementary School shooting that killed 21 people.
Uvalde CISD said in a statement, “recent developments have uncovered additional concerns with department operations,” which prompted the suspension.
UCISD explained officers currently employed will fill other roles within the district. At least two officials, Lt. Miguel Hernandez and Student Services Director Ken Mueller, were placed on administrative leave, with Mueller electing to retire, according to UCISD’s announcement.
“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,” Uvalde CISD’s statement said.
The suspension comes after documents revealed a former Texas Department of Public Safety trooper — who responded to the school shooting and is under investigation for her response — was hired into the UCISD Police Department.
Records released Thursday showed DPS wrote Lt. Hernandez a letter on July 28 telling him the former trooper he was looking to hire, Crimson Elizondo, was under investigation by the agency.
Elizondo was hired anyway, records show.
The July letter said Elizondo was under investigation by the DPS’ Office of Inspector General for “actions inconsistent with training and Department requirements.” The letter did not specify whether the investigation was related to the shooting at Robb Elementary.
On Thursday, the district announced Elizondo was fired after May 24 body cam audio detailed in a CNN report recorded her saying, “if my son had been in there, I would not have been outside.”
Uvalde CISD said in a statement, “Ms. Elizondo’s statement in the audio is not consistent with the district’s expectations.”
Without officers, Uvalde CISD said it asked Texas DPS to provide extra troopers for its campuses and extra-curricular activities. In August, it was also announced the district would be getting help from over 30 DPS officers.
“We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition,” UCISD said Friday.
Uvalde parents have been demanding the suspension of the district officers who responded to the shooting. To make their protests clear, father Brett Cross, who lost his son Uziyah in the shooting, has been camping out on school district office grounds for a little over 10 days.
On Tuesday, he told Nexstar: “They’re still walking around like nothing. Accountability needs to happen. Accountability starts at home.”
He posted an update to Twitter after news of the suspension was released: “245 hr update!!! We did it! And we are going home!”
The district said it is still awaiting results from both an investigation and a review into the Uvalde CISD Police Department. The review is being done by the Texas Police Chiefs Association and will cover management and organization.
“The results of this review will guide the rebuilding of the department and the hiring of a new Chief of Police. We expect to have a report later this month,” Uvalde CISD said.
A private investigator is separately investigating the officers’ response to the May 24 shooting. Results from this investigation will also help with future decisions, according to the district.