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Texas shooting: Robb Elementary School to be demolished – Uvalde mayor

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© Reuters. Ricca Amaro, with her parents, Alma and Ramon Amaro, all from San Antonio, visit the memorial for the shooting victims at Robb Elementary School early Saturday morning in Uvalde, Texas, U.S., June 11, 2022. REUTERS/Lisa Krantz

By Kanishka Singh and Brendan O’Brien

(Reuters) -The elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where a teenage gunman killed 19 children and two teachers last month will be demolished, the city’s mayor said on Tuesday.

The mayor’s announcement came several hours after a senior Texas official said the law enforcement response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School was “an abject failure” in which a commander put the lives of officers over those of the children.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin did not give a timeline for when the school would be demolished, but said at a council meeting: “You can never ask a child to go back or teacher to go back in that school ever.”

In a separate Texas state Senate hearing into the May 24 shooting, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steven McCraw said the onsite commander made “terrible decisions” and officers at the scene lacked sufficient training, costing valuable time during which lives may have been saved.

“There is compelling evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary was an abject failure and antithetical to everything we’ve learned,” McCraw said.

Many parents and relatives of the children and staff have expressed deep anger over police action after the gunman entered Robb Elementary School and began shooting.

One delay McCraw discussed was the search for a key to the classroom where the shooting occurred. He noted that the door was not locked and there was no evidence officers tried to see if it was secured while others searched for a key.

“There’s no way … for the subject to lock the door from the inside,” McCraw said.

Days after the shooting, the Texas DPS said as many as 19 officers waited for more than an hour in a hallway outside classrooms 111 and 112 before a U.S. Border Patrol-led tactical team finally made entry. McCraw reiterated that in the hearing on Tuesday.

“The officers had weapons, the children had none. The officers had body armor, the children had none. The officers had training, the subject had none. One hour, 14 minutes, and eight seconds – that is how long the children waited, and the teachers waited, in Room 111 to be rescued,” the DPS director said.

“Three minutes after the subject entered the west building, there was a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract and neutralize the subject,” McCraw added.

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

McCraw said the scene commander, Uvalde schools police chief Pete Arredondo, “waited for radio and rifles, and he waited for shields and he waited for SWAT. Lastly, he waited for a key that was never needed.”

Arredondo did not address either of the two hearings on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Arredondo said he never considered himself incident commander at the scene of the shooting, and that he did not order police to hold back on breaching the building.

At the city council meeting on Tuesday night, McLaughlin accused McCraw of deflecting blame away from state police enforcement.

“Every briefing he leaves out the number of his own officers and rangers that were on scene that day,” the mayor said. “Colonel McCraw has an agenda and it’s not to present a full report on what happened and to give factual answers to the families of this community.”

McLaughlin said state officials were leaving the city and its residents in the dark, declaring: “The gloves are off.”

Greg Abbott, Texas’s Republican governor, said in a statement he wants all facts regarding the shooting released to the victims’ families and the public as quickly as possible.

The Uvalde City Council voted unanimously late on Tuesday to deny a leave of absence for Arredondo as a council member.

Arredondo won election to the council shortly before the shooting but has not appeared at the two council meetings since then. Denying him a leave of absence sets up his potential departure as a council member if he misses a third consecutive meeting.

Arredondo told the Texas Tribune he left his two radios outside the school because he wanted his hands free to hold his gun. He had said he called for tactical gear, a sniper and keys to get inside, holding back from the doors for 40 minutes to avoid provoking sprays of gunfire.

Community members along with parents of the victims urged Arredondo to resign during an impassioned school board meeting on Monday, ABC News reported.

Sports & General

More than 40 migrants die in truck in San Antonio, others hospitalized

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© Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San Antonio, Texas, U.S. June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Kaylee Greenlee Beal

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By Kaylee Greenlee Beal and Ted Hesson

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) -Authorities found 46 migrants dead inside a tractor-trailer on Monday in San Antonio, Texas, the city’s fire department said, in what appears to be one of the most deadly recent incidents of human smuggling along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The San Antonio Fire Department said 16 other people found inside the trailer were transported to the hospital for heat stroke and exhaustion, including four minors. Officials also said three people were in custody following the incident.

The truck was found next to railroad tracks in a remote area on the city’s southern outskirts.

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard called the suffocation of the migrants in the truck the “tragedy in Texas” on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and said the local consulate was en route to the scene, though the nationalities of the victims had not been confirmed.

There have been a record number of migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months, which has sparked criticisms of the immigration policies of U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

Temperatures in San Antonio, which is about 160 miles (250 km) from the Mexican border, swelled to a high of 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius) on Monday with high humidity.

In July 2017, ten migrants died after being transported in a tractor-trailer that was discovered by San Antonio police in a Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) parking lot. The driver, James Matthew Bradley, Jr., was sentenced the following year to life in prison for his role in the smuggling operation.

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Dozens of migrants found dead in truck in San Antonio

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© Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San Antonio, Texas, U.S. June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Kaylee Greenlee Beal

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By Kaylee Greenlee Beal and Ted Hesson

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – At least 42 migrants were found dead inside a tractor-trailer on Monday in San Antonio, Texas, the state’s Governor Greg Abbott said, in what appears to be one of the most deadly recent incidents of human smuggling along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard called the suffocation of the migrants in the truck the “tragedy in Texas” on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and said the local consulate was en route to the scene, though the nationalities of the victims had not been confirmed. A U.S. law enforcement official said there were more than 40 people dead without providing additional details.

The truck was found next to railroad tracks in a remote area on the city’s southern outskirts, San Antonio’s KSAT television reported.

There have been a record number of migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months, which has sparked criticisms of the immigration policies of U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

Abbott placed the blame for the deaths on Biden’s policies on Twitter, saying they “show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.”

The San Antonio police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Temperatures in San Antonio, which is about 160 miles (250 km) from the Mexican border, swelled to a high of 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 degrees Celsius) on Monday with high humidity.

In July 2017, ten migrants died after being transported in a tractor-trailer that was discovered by San Antonio police in a Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) parking lot. The driver, James Matthew Bradley, Jr., was sentenced the following year to life in prison for his role in the smuggling operation.

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Mexican consul en route to Texas site where migrants found dead in trailer

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© Reuters. Law enforcement officers work at the scene where people were found dead inside a trailer truck in San Antonio, Texas, U.S. June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Kaylee Greenlee Beal

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said the Mexican consul was en route to the site where 42 people were found dead in a truck carrying migrants near San Antonio, Texas, Monday.

Ebrard said in a tweet that the victims’ nationalities were still unknown.

The Mexican General Consulate in San Antonio said on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) that it would provide aid to any Mexicans involved in the incident, if there were any. It also said Consul General Ruben Minutti was on the way to the scene.

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