Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, was closed after the May 25 massacre and will not reopen, Mayor Don Mclaughlin announced during a council meeting on Tuesday. That decision, according to Mclaughlin, was made after consultation with the school board. A new school is being built for the six hundred students.
It is unknown when the current building will be demolished. Several U.S. schools have been razed to the ground following a shooting, including Sandy Hook in Newton, where 20 children were killed in 2013. A new high-security school opened in 2016 on the grounds of the elementary school.
Criticism of the police
Uvalde’s mayor also told during the city council meeting about the police action in the school during the shooting. After the massacre, according to relatives, the police were criticized for having intervened too late. Nineteen officers had been in the school building for nearly an hour before intervening. But according to local police chief Pete Arredondo, they did not have “the firepower” needed to stop the gunman. However, new investigations on Tuesday revealed that officers were more heavily armed than previously thought.
The new investigation was presented at a hearing on the shooting in the Texas Senate. Steven McCraw, the state’s chief of police, called Chief of Police Arrendondo’s behavior at the hearing an “absolute failure.” “An hour, 14 minutes and eight seconds – that’s how long the kids and teachers in classroom 111 had to wait to be rescued,” McCraw said. According to the police chief, there were probably armed officers present to intervene earlier, but Arrendondo was waiting unnecessarily for reinforcements.
Mayor McLaughlin says that with the criticism of Arrendondo, Chief of Police McCraw is mainly trying to divert attention from the role that the state police themselves played in the ‘failed’ police operation. “Colonel McCraw has an agenda, and it is not to give a full account of the events and give factual answers to the relatives,” said McLaughlin, arguing that the state is abandoning Uvalde.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott initially praised police action. After it became clear that the police had made a mistake, the governor claimed that he had been “misled” and misinformed by the police. He states that he wants to get all the facts on the table for the relatives as soon as possible.
Stricter gun laws
After the massacre in Uvalde, and an equally bloody shooting in Buffalo ten days earlier, the discussion of gun ownership in the United States also flared up again. Both perpetrators were 18 years old, prompting some Americans to question whether the minimum age for gun ownership should be raised.
It was announced on Tuesday that the US Senate has now agreed on a stricter gun law, although the proposals are less drastic than the House of Representatives had hoped. The new bill must make it possible to keep weapons out of the hands of people who pose a danger to society. The background check for arms buyers under the age of 21 will also, for the first time, include a mandatory investigation of criminal cases.
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives approved a new package of measures to tighten gun laws. It also included an increase in the minimum age for semi-automatic firearms. President Nancy Pelosi has previously said he was pleased with any bill passed by the Senate: “If it saves lives and there is support for it in both parties, then we welcome it. Even if not all the measures we want , is with. ‘ The Senate is expected to vote on the bill later this week.