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Robb Elementary School, site of massacre, will be razed, Uvalde mayor says

“You can never ask a child to go back or a teacher to go back in that school ever,” the mayor said hours after a top Texas official called the response to the shooting an “abject failure.”
/ Source: NBC News

The Uvalde, Texas, elementary school where a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers last month will be demolished, the city’s mayor said.

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.

“My understanding — and I had this discussion with the superintendent — that school will be demolished,” he said.

“You can never ask a child to go back or a teacher to go back in that school ever,” McLaughlin added.

No timeline for the demolition was provided.

President Joe Biden had also previously expressed support for the school’s destruction.

Robb Elementary will not be the first school to be razed in the wake of a major tragedy.

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 students and six staff members were fatally shot by a 20-year-old gunman in 2012, was also demolished and rebuilt.

During Tuesday’s council meeting, McLaughlin expressed frustration over difficulties in getting answers from those investigating the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary, as well as the police response, which has been heavily criticized.

With the Texas Rangers, an agency with the Texas Department of Public Safety, leading the investigation, McLaughlin said he was upset that he and other city officials were not getting updates on the probe.

“I’m very frustrated with the way they’re handling it. Very frustrated because, like I said, we’re not getting any information,” he said.

The mayor said he planned on sharing any updates as they came with the public.

“The gloves are off,” he said. “As we know it, we will share it.”

“We are not going to hold back anymore,” he said. “We kept quiet at the request (of other agencies) because we thought we were doing a formal investigation and doing the right thing.”

“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, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said the law enforcement response to the Uvalde school shooting was an “abject failure.”

Related: Slain Uvalde teacher’s officer husband tried to save his wife but was detained, had gun taken away

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.”

With law enforcement facing backlash over the decision to wait for around an hour for backup instead of moving on the gunman as the school shooting unfolded, McGraw said the lives of police officers were valued over those of young children that day.

“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from (entering rooms) 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” he said.

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