Robb Elementary School, the Texas school where 19 children and 2 teachers were brutally murdered in a mass shooting, will be demolished.
“You can never ask a child or a teacher to go back in that school ever,” says Uvalde Mayor, Don McLaughlin.
The tragedy shook the nation, even the world, so it’s no shock that residents within the community feel 100 times the pain that we all do.
Speaking during an emotional council meeting with residents Tuesday, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said he did not believe any child or teacher should be asked to return to Robb Elementary School, where the deadly shooting unfolded May 24.
President Joe Biden has also expressed his support for the school’s demolition.
Robb Elementary will not be the first school to be demolished after a disturbing tragedy.
Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 students and 6 staff members were shot and killed by a 20-year-old gunman in 2012, was also demolished and rebuilt.
The mayor said he planned on sharing any updates as they came with the public.
“What matters to Uvalde is that these broken-hearted families and this grieving community get a full investigation and accurate report of what happened that day,” he said.
On Tuesday, Steve McCraw, Texas Department of Public Safety Director said that the law enforcement response to the Uvalde school shooting was an “abject failure.”
McCraw said that there were enough armed police officers wearing body armor to stop the late May shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, three minutes after it began.
Within the first 3 minutes of the attack, there were at least nine officers out in the hallway, he said. There were at least two armed with rifles and a body shield, McCraw said. They also had bulletproof vests.
It took about an hour and 15 minutes from when officers arrived at the school to when they breached the door and ended the standoff with the gunman.
“The officers had weapons, the children had none. The officers had body armor, the children had none. The officers had training, the subject had none,” McCraw said.
Speaking during a state Senate committee hearing in Austin, McGraw said there was “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 added that the outside door the shooter used to enter the school was unlocked.
Salvador Ramos, the murderer, died after officers stormed into the classroom.
Ramos was a high school dropout who attended Robb Elementary School for one year as a fourth grade student there.
McCraw shared that of the nearly 700 people interviewed as a part of the investigation into the shooting, at least 6 (including one of Ramos’ teachers) said they feared him. They did not report their fears and concerns to police before the shooting.
In the months leading up to the shooting, Ramos made several weapons-related purchases online, including rounds of ammunition. Ramos had asked a family member earlier in the year to buy him a gun, but they refused. He finally bought two of them on May 16th when he turned 18.
Supposedly, after saving money over a long period time doing odd jobs and working in the fast food industry, he was able to buy the firearms and rounds of ammunition, according to McCraw. At the time of the shooting, he was not working.
On the day of the massacre, Ramos was communicating with a teen from Germany about his plans to shoot his grandmother and the elementary school.
Ramos shot his grandmother in the face and consequently lost her jaw but is now in good condition.
After getting shot, Ramos’ grandmother ran to her neighbor’s house and that neighbor then called 911. In that time, Ramos took her truck (despite not having a driver’s license) and drove to the elementary school.
McCraw said when the Uvalde district attorney’s office gives permission, the Texas Department of Public Safety will release all police body camera footage, as well as school and funeral home surveillance footage.
It is unclear when, or if, that information will be released.