Texas primary school where 21 were killed to be demolished, mayor says

Tributes have been placed outside Robb Elementary School, Uvalde.

A primary school in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed in a mass shooting, will be demolished, the city's mayor has said.

In a council meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Don McLaughlin said it was his "understanding" that Robb Elementary School will be razed, although he did not say when.

“You can never ask a child to go back or teacher to go back in that school ever,” Mr McLaughlin said.

In the aftermath of mass shootings at schools across the United States, communities have struggled with what to do with the buildings. In Newtown, Connecticut, voters authorised the demolition of the Sandy Hook Elementary School building where 26 students and teachers were killed in 2012.

In Colorado, Columbine High School, where 13 were killed in a 1999 attack, still stands.

Mayor McLaughlin's announcement came several hours after a senior Texas official said the law enforcement response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School was "an abject failure" in which a commander put the lives of officers over those of the children.

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Steve McCraw said: “The officers had weapons, the children had none. The officers had body armour, the children had none. The officers had training, the subject had none.”

He added that officers would have found the door to the classroom where the assailant was holed up was unlocked, if they had bothered to check it. Instead, police with rifles stood in a hallway for over an hour, waiting in part for more weapons and gear, before they finally stormed the classroom and killed the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos.

Delays in the law enforcement response at Robb Elementary School have become the focus of federal, state and local investigations.

Testimony was scheduled to resume Wednesday.