Hal Harrell, the superintendent of schools in Uvalde, Texas, has announced his retirement, a little more than four months after thein which 19 students and two teachers were killed.
At a meeting Monday night, the Uvalde school board agreed unanimously to begin searching for Harrell’s replacement.
Supporters of Harrell could be seen gathered outside prior to the start of the meeting. However, several attendees, some of whom are family members of victims of the shooting, spoke out against Harrell and the school board during the proceedings, criticizing their actions in the wake of the shooting. Other attendees could be heard cheering and applauding those criticisms.
After a series of critical speakers, one woman spoke out in support of Harrell. Her remarks were also greeted with applause.
The law enforcement response to the May 24 massacre has come under intense scrutiny in the months following the shooting, and the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District administration has also been accused of not having the proper procedures in place to stop the mass shooting.
Last week, the entire police department that serves the school district wasdue to “recent developments” that “uncovered additional concerns with department operations,” Anne Marie Espinoza, the executive director of communications and marketing for the Uvalde CISD, said in a statement.
That move came shortly after the, a member of the department who had been previously been employed by the Texas Department of Safety and responded to the shooting at Robb Elementary. According to CNN, Elizondo can be heard in body cam footage from the day of the shooting telling other officers at the scene: “If my son had been in there, I would not have been outside. I promise you that.”
Afrom Texas lawmakers found “systemic failures and egregious poor decision making” in the response to the shooting, during which responders waited more than an hour before confronting the gunman in a classroom.
“The void of leadership could have contributed to the loss of life as injured victims waited over an hour for help, and the attacker continued to sporadically fire his weapon,” the report said.
According to the report, most of the victims “perished immediately,” but the committee concluded that it was “plausible some of the victims could have survived if they had not had to wait 73 additional minutes for rescue.”
In addition, the responding officers “failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety,” the report said.
Pete Arredondo, the former Uvalde school district police chief, was.
Caroline Linton contributed reporting.