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Entire police department at centre of Texas school shooting suspended

The department admitted it had uncovered “additional concerns with operations” and would be withdrawing its officers from schools in Uvalde, just five months after a mass shooting there left 21 people dead.

The school district at the centre of the mass shooting at a primary school in Uvalde, Texas, has suspended its entire police force.

Following a review conducted into the massacre at the Robb Elementary School in which 21 people, including 19 children, were killed, the district has announced two police officers will go on “administrative leave” and the entire department’s activities will be suspended.

The shootings in May were the deadliest at an American school since 26 people were killed in the Sandy Hook attack in Connecticut in 2012.

Uvalde’s district police chief was sacked in August over the hesitant response by hundreds of heavily armed law enforcement officers to the killings carried out by high school dropout Salvador Ramos.

A state-led investigation is currently under way into all events that day, but in an announcement on Friday, Uvalde’s Consolidated Independent School District (CISD), admitted “recent developments have uncovered additional concerns with department operations”.

A statement from the body said: “Lt. Miguel Hernandez and Ken Mueller (director of student services) have been placed on administrative leave, and the district has made the decision to suspend all activities of the Uvalde CISD Police Department for a period of time.

“Officers currently employed will fill other roles in the district.”

School districts in the US often have a police department attached to them.

The CISD said it plans to rebuild the Uvalde school police department after the state report is released, which is expected later this month.

It said it will review the findings, then hire a new head. In the meantime, the district said it has requested for additional state troopers to patrol schools.

The young children and their two teachers were killed by the 18-year-old gunman after he crashed a vehicle outside their school and made his way into classrooms, opening fire.

Commanders on the day came under a barrage of criticism for not ordering officers to go into the room where the gunman was holed up and keeping them waiting more than an hour before breaching the classroom and killing Ramos.

An initial report into what happened revealed almost 400 law enforcement personnel were sent to the scene, but despite the huge response in terms of personnel, a “lackadaisical approach” and overarching sense of “chaos” among every agency who attended prevailed.

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