Uvalde school officials fired a newly hired district cop Thursday after a report revealed she was one of the officers who botched rescue attempts at the Robb Elementary School massacre – but Texas Gov. Greg Abbott claims the agency knew exactly who she was when they hired her.
Crimson Elizondo was canned one day after CNN identified her as one of the first Texas Department of Public Safety officers who arrived at the scene and failed to take proper action as Salvador Ramos slaughtered 19 kids and two teachers inside.
Elizondo showed up with her handgun drawn, but did not grab any tactical body armor or her long rifle from her police car, as officers are trained to do, CNN reported.
She was later captured on body camera footage telling a fellow officer that if her own son had been inside the building, she wouldn’t have been standing around outside.
“We are deeply distressed by the information that was disclosed yesterday evening concerning one of our recently hired employees, Crimson Elizondo,” the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District said in a statement.
“We sincerely apologize to the victim’s families and the greater Uvalde community for the pain that this revelation has caused. Ms. Elizondo’s statement in the audio is not consistent with the District’s expectations.”
But Gov. Greg Abbott claims the school district had reached out to Texas DPS before hiring Elizondo and was told the officer “had actions inconsistent with training and department requirements,” the Texas Tribune reported.
“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 told reporters Thursday.
Surveillance footage captured Elizondo inside the elementary school briefly, still without any protective gear on, but mostly she mostly stood outside, CNN said.
At one point, Elizondo can be heard on body camera footage responding to a fellow officer who asked whether she had children inside the school as officers received reports of shots fired in the building.
“If my son had been in there, I would not have been outside,” she said. “I promise you that.”
She later left the scene after offering to gather supplies and by the time she returned, police had apprehended the gunman.
Elizondo had left her position as a state trooper following the shooting and was hired by the UCISD over the summer. It is not clear if she is one of five DPS officers being investigated by the Texas Inspector General’s Office.
One month into the new school year, kids who survived the tragedy and saw Elizondo on Uvalde school campuses recognized her from footage of the shooting and were furious to learn she’d been hired by the district.
“We are disgusted and angry at Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s (UCISD) decision to hire Officer Crimson Elizondo. Her hiring puts into question the credibility and thoroughness of UCISD’s HR and vetting practices,” family representatives of the survivors told CNN in a statement.
The UCISD is conducting an independent investigation into its current officers who were present for the May 24 shooting. A separate management and organizational review of the UCISD Police Department is also ongoing.
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