The Mayor of Uvalde, Texas announced the planned demolition of Robb Elementary earlier this week following the tragic school shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead last month.
“You can never ask a child to go back or teacher to go back in that school ever,” Mayor Don McLaughlin said in a council meeting on Tuesday, announcing the demolition. Robb Elementary serves nearly 600 students in grades 2nd through 4th.
Robb Elementary is not the first school to be demolished following a mass shooting. In the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy that left 20 children and six staff members dead, the classroom was demolished and a new building was constructed in its place.
This announcement comes shortly after surveillance footage from Robb Elementary was released. Images show police waiting outside for over 45 minutes before going into the unlocked classroom to neutralize the 18-year-old killer. One police officer, whose wife was one of the slain teachers, was prevented from entering the school to confront the shooter and save his wife by other officers, KWTX reports.
Col. Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told Texas lawmakers in a special Senate committee, “There is compelling evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary was an abject failure and antithetical to everything we’ve learned over the last two decades since the Columbine massacre.”
McCraw places the blame on the Uvalde school district police chief Pete Arredondo, alleging that Arredondo put the lives of his officers before the children.
In response to the release of the footage, McLaughlin said in a statement, “The City wants to ensure completeness of the information provided, not a release of piecemeal or incomplete and inaccurate information. Information that has been released has not come from the City and it is apparent that what has been released is incomplete.”
“There is no coverup. Anyone who suggests the City of Uvalde is withholding information without legitimate and legal reasons is wrong and is spreading misinformation,” McLaughlin added.
Data concerning ballistics and other forensic information has not yet been released to the public. At this time, no investigation from State authorities, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or any other government service has been announced “complete.”
The city council who made the decision to demolish Robb Elementary has not yet released any statement in response to the criticism.