Uvalde school leaders suspend entire district police force, put 2 officials on leave

Lieutenant who knew about ex-trooper’s investigation will be on administrative leave

FILE - Family, parents and friends file out of a meeting where Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo was dismissed by the Board of Trustees of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. Four months after the Robb Elementary School shooting, the Uvalde school district on Friday, Oct. 7 pulled its entire embattled campus police force off the job following a wave of new outrage over the hiring of a former Texas state trooper who was part of the hesitant law enforcement response as a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

UVALDE, Texas – Administrators announced Friday that they have suspended “all activities of the Uvalde CISD Police Department for a period of time” amid criticism of their response to the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School.

UCISD on Friday announced that “recent developments” led to the suspension of the department, and Lt. Miguel Hernandez and Ken Mueller have been placed on administrative leave, according to News 6 partner KSAT.

Records obtained by KSAT showed that Hernandez knew about a recently hired officer, Crimson Elizondo, being under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety for her response to the attack.

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Elizondo, who was one of the first troopers on the scene, mainly stayed outside the building. She was seen on body cam footage saying, “If my son had been in there, I would not have been outside. I promise you that,” CNN reported.

She left DPS in the summer and was hired by the school district. UCISD fired her on Thursday after reports about her employment surfaced.

UCISD said currently employed officers will “fill other roles in the district.” DPS troopers will patrol campus and extracurricular activities.

The district said it is still waiting for the results of an investigation by the Texas Police Chiefs Association and an external group, JPPI Investigations.

Read the full statement below:

UCISD added that Mueller, the director of student services, decided to retire.

Mueller was just one of the district leaders under fire for their handling of the response.

Brett and Nikki Cross, the guardians of Uziyah Garcia, and several other parents and relatives of victims have been at the district’s parking lot, protesting Superintendent Hal Harrell, Mueller and other district leaders.

They had demanded that Harrell suspend the officers who stood in the hallway for 77 minutes during the shooting, which resulted in the deaths of 19 students and two teachers.

The group had been stationed since Tuesday, Sept. 27, camping out with canopies, chairs and cots, and playing videos of their children.

On Twitter, Brett Cross repeatedly made himself clear: “I’m not going anywhere.”

In one of his videos posted last week, Brett Cross said Mueller “put his hands on me” when Mueller tried to make his way into the district building.

In a video, Mueller is seen trying to move Brett Cross aside at the entrance.

On Friday, just as the district announced the suspension, he shared some of his last Tweets from the protest.

“245 hr update!!! We did it! And we are going home!”

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About the Authors:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.