Uvalde school officials announced that they have fired newly-hired district officer Crimson Elizondo, who was discovered to have been one of the officers under investigation for failing to take action during the massacre in May where a gunman shot and killed 19 children and two teachers.
Elizondo was a state trooper at the time of the shooting and was hired over the summer by the district where she would presumably be tasked with protecting some of the children who had survived the horrific ordeal.
But, one day after CNN identified her, the district fired Elizondo.
“We are deeply distressed by the information that was disclosed yesterday evening concerning one of our recently hired employees, Crimson Elizondo,” a statement from the district reads.
“We sincerely apologize to the victim’s families and the greater Uvalde community for the pain that this revelation has caused.”
Crimson Elizondo was shown on surveillance video outside Robb Elementary school as the massacre was taking place inside, handgun drawn.
She was one of the first officers on the scene.
Elizondo is one of seven officers under investigation for what Texas DPS cites as “actions which may be inconsistent with training and requirements.”
CNN reports that she was not properly equipped and indicated to investigators that she was not comfortable going inside the school without the gear.
Crimson Elizondo was shown on body camera footage telling a fellow officer that her discomfort might not have been quite as all-consuming if one of the children inside had been her own.
“If my son had been in there, I would not have been outside,” she said. “I promise you that.”
What makes Crimson Elizondo’s comments particularly infuriating – aside from the fact it was her job to protect other people’s children – is the fact that video outside the school shows parents who actually wanted to go in and save their children being restrained.
One of those parents, Angeli Rose Gomez, had to drive 40 miles from her job as a farm worker to reach the school after learning of the lockdown due to an active shooter. Once there, she was reportedly placed in handcuffs for allegedly being ‘uncooperative’ by U.S. Marshals.
Gomez says she convinced one of the officers to release her, and upon being freed, jumped the fence, ran into the school herself even as shots were still reportedly being fired, and fled with her children.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott is furious that Uvalde school officials hired Elizondo over the summer in the first place and he claims they knew that she was under investigation when they did so.
Abbott claims the district reached out to Texas DPS before hiring her and they were told “she had actions inconsistent with training and department requirements.”
They appear to have hired her anyway.
“So that school district had full information about the person they chose to go ahead and hire, and that’s up to the school district — not DPS, not anybody else — to have to own up to the poor decision they made,” Abbott said.
Aside from Elizondo’s actions and subsequent investigation, several other police officers were heavily criticized as surveillance video of the Uvalde shooting was made public.
Surveillance video obtained by the Austin American-Statesman showed a scene in which heavily armed and heavily armored officers from multiple departments do little to stop the carnage that took place over a 77-minute span.
The evidence shows that even as the attack is carried out, officers find time for a fist bump and a moment to use hand sanitizer.
Crimson Elizondo wasn’t the only officer who stood outside because the children being killed weren’t her own.
An investigative committee from the Texas House of Representatives released a report showing “376 law enforcement officers” had rushed to the scene of the massacre but it took over an hour for the gunman to be “finally confronted and killed.”
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steven McCraw called the response to the shooting an “abject failure” in a hearing before a Texas Senate committee.
Over a dozen students in the classroom were still alive during the timeframe that the police officers in the surveillance video inside the school dithered and others stopped parents from trying to save their own kids outside.
Many of the victims were bleeding due to the wounds they suffered. One of the teachers, a wife of an officer who was held back from entering the classroom, died while being transported by ambulance to the hospital.
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