Uvalde community members calling for suspension of all city cops who responded to mass shooting
UVALDE, Texas - Members of the Uvalde community are calling for all city police officers who responded to the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School to be placed on administrative leave.
During a council meeting on July 26, families of the victims killed and community members called for all officers who responded that day to be held responsible for the police response to the shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers.
The city council said at the meeting all the officers who responded to the shooting will be interviewed as part of the city's own internal investigation regarding Uvalde police's actions, policies and procedures and will be held accountable for their actions.
This call comes after Lt. Mariano Pargas, who was acting chief during the shooting, has been placed on administrative leave following the release of a Texas House investigative committee's 77-page report into the police response at the shooting.
"This administrative leave is to investigate whether Lt. Pargas was responsible for taking command on May 24th, what specific actions Lt. Pargas took to establish that command, and whether it was even feasible given all the agencies involved and other possible policy violations," said Mayor McLaughlin in a statement at the time.
- Uvalde shooting victims’ families call for answers, accountability at school board meeting
- Release of footage, report on Uvalde school shooting response leaves family members frustrated
- Texas state police launch internal review of Uvalde response
Pargas is only one of two officers that have been suspended following the shooting. Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo has been on administrative leave since June 22. The school board was expected to meet on July 23 to discuss his firing, but the meeting was postponed until a yet-to-be-determined date.
At the meeting, city council also voted to approve a resolution requesting Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session of the Texas Legislature to consider raising the minimum age of purchase from 18 to 21 for semiautomatic assault-style rifles.
In June, Texas Senate Democrats called for Abbott to call a special session on gun control and safety measures. According to the Texas Tribune, the senators said they would support proposals such as raising the age to legally own an assault weapon from 18 to 21, creating red flag laws for gun purchases, instituting a 72-hour "cooling off" period, and regulating the private sale of firearms.
The Texas Legislature is set to reconvene in Austin in January.