UVALDE, Texas (Nexstar) — A former Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who responded to the Uvalde massacre — and is under investigation for her response — was hired onto the Uvalde school district’s police force, according to records obtained by KXAN.
A day after CNN first reported the hiring, the woman was terminated, but KXAN discovered records showing the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District knew she was under investigation when they offered her the position.
New records provided by Texas DPS show it wrote a letter on July 28 to the Uvalde CISD Police Department, informing the agency Trooper Crimson Elizondo was under investigation by the Office of Inspector General for “actions inconsistent with training and Department requirements.” The letter did not disclose the investigation was tied to the shooting at Robb Elementary.
Uvalde CISD put out a statement Thursday, stating it terminated Elizondo from her position with the UCISD Police Department. According to CNN’s report, Elizondo is heard on body camera video at Robb Elementary School the day of the shooting saying, “if my son had been in there, I would not have been outside.”
Uvalde CISD spokesperson Anne Marie Espinoza said in a statement Thursday “Ms. Elizondo’s statement in the audio is not consistent with the District’s expectations.”
Elizondo had worked with DPS for more than four years, and her last day with the department was Aug. 29, according to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records. Her first day at Uvalde CISD was Aug. 30.
Elizondo was one of the first of the 91 DPS troopers to respond to Robb Elementary on May 24, after responders got reports of an active shooter situation, according to DPS. TCOLE records show she had not gone through an active shooter training course at that time.
That day, 19 children and two teachers were killed in the shooting. They and many survivors were left waiting for over an hour to be rescued by various law enforcement officers, who waited outside the classroom where the tragedy took place.
Officers’ actions have been widely criticized in the wake of the shooting, with Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw calling the shooting response “an abject failure.”
At least seven DPS troopers were put under investigation for their response to the shooting. DPS has not released any names or information about them. Police chief for UCISD, Pete Arredondo, was fired.
CNN said Elizondo left DPS and got hired as a police officer for Uvalde CISD to protect some of the same kids who survived the Robb Elementary shooting. Elizondo declined to speak with the news outlet, according to CNN’s report.
“We are deeply distressed by the information that was disclosed [Wednesday] evening concerning one of our recently hired employees, Crimson Elizondo. We sincerely apologize to the victim’s families and the greater Uvalde community for the pain that this revelation has caused,” the district’s statement read, in part.
Elizondo’s name and photo were displayed on the UCISD Police Department website, but as of 11 a.m. Thursday it had been removed. Some Uvalde families affected by the shooting told CNN they recognized her from body camera footage released by the mayor.
The DPS investigation of its troopers was announced last month and will be conducted by the Office of Inspector General. KXAN has reached out to DPS for comment. We will update this article once a response is received.
Uvalde CISD said regarding the rest of its police force, an investigation is underway to review the actions of its current officers during the May 24 mass shooting. The school district also said it’s awaiting results of a review of the UCISD Police Department, which it said will help it make more informed decisions about safety and security.