A Uvalde cop who was criticized by parents for failing to intervene in the massacre and then rehired to protect the school has now been fired after outrage.
Crimson Elizondo, 45, a former officer with the Texas Department of Public Safety, was among the first officers who arrived at the scene of the May 24 shooting and was heavily criticized for her inaction.
As an investigation opened over the police response, Elizondo quietly resigned, and was subsequently hired at the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD), CNN reports.
In the new position, she was tasked with protecting the the survivors of the shooting that left 19 kids and two teacher dead.
Parents said they immediately recognized her when they spotted Elizondo this week in the school, demanding she be fired.
The school district said she was terminated from her position on Thursday, apologizing to the families of the victims.
‘We are deeply distressed by the information that was disclosed yesterday evening concerning one of our recently hired employees, Crimson Elizondo,’ UCISD said, referencing Elizondo’s infamous statement in the aftermath of the shooting.
Bodycam footage showed Elizondo delivering care to survivors and commenting to an officer that she would have rushed into the school if it was her son in danger.
‘Yeah my son’s in daycare, he’s not old enough. Yeah no, if my son had been in there, I would not have been outside, I promise you that,’ she said.
The district added: ‘We sincerely apologize to the victim’s families and the greater Uvalde community for the pain that this revelation has caused.’
Crimson Elizondo, a former officer with the Texas Department of Public Safety, was hired at Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police force despite being under investigation for failures at responding to the school shooting
Elizondo was one of the first officers to arrive at the scene, with investigators noting that she failed to properly equip herself with her body armor and rifle
She then spent most of her time outside the school, commenting to fellow officers that she would be inside the building if it was her son in there
Parents of the victims said they immediately recognized Elizondo in her new job at the Uvalde Elementary school from the body camera footage showing her among the seven DPS officers who stood around and waited while students were being shot.
Brett Cross, who lost his son, Uziyah Garcia, in the massacre, said he was disgusted to see Elizondo at the school despite assurance to parents that those who failed their children would not be hired at the school.
‘I asked when they said we were getting more officers, if they were hiring officers who were there on May 24,’ he said of the UCISD’s decision to hire 10 additional cops following the massacre. ‘They told me, ‘No.’
‘And honestly, I’m pissed off at the remarks she had to say,’ Cross added.
After the UCISD Chief Pete Arredondo resigned over criticisms of his leadership to end the shooting quickly, Elizondo was one of seven DPS officers under investigation for failing to act alongside the former chief.
She was among the first officers at the scene, where 18-year-old Salvador Ramos was left alone for 77-minutes as he killed 19 students and two teachers, and injured 17 others.
Body cam video from the incidents shows Elizondo, without her proper body armor or rifle equipped, standing around with other officers waiting to act.
Parents of the victims are now calling for Elizondo to be fired from UCISD, which has since removed her profile from its website.
‘We are disgusted and angry at Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s (UCISD) decision to hire Officer Crimson Elizondo,’ the families said in a statement. ‘Her hiring puts into question the credibility and thoroughness of UCISD’s HR and vetting practices.’
Like Cross, Kimberly Garcia, who lost her daughter Amerie, took issue with Elizondo’s comments and called on her and DPS Director Steven McCraw to resign.
‘It wasn’t your baby, right? That’s why you didn’t go in ‘Officer Elizondo,” Garcia tweeted. ‘She was there WITHIN MINUTES? But her child wasn’t in there so it didn’t matter.
‘MY child WAS IN THERE! My child was SCARED! She was in danger! Those babies and 2 teachers were in there! McCraw RESIGN NOW!’
Gloria Cazares, who also lost her daughter Jackie in the massacre, echoed the outrage on social media, writing: ‘What mother would leave another mothers babies in those rooms to die!
‘If this isn’t proof enough, then what the hell is??????? This is proof that @Uvalde_CISD does not care about our children. How can she resign from DPS during an investigation and get hired to work @Uvalde_CISD.’
Elizondo could not be immediately reached for comment.
Sources familiar with the investigation over DPS’s response told CNN Elizondo and her fellow officers in the department were under investigation for ‘actions which may be inconsistent with training and requirements.’