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'Who was protecting my mom?' | Families of Uvalde mass shooting victims demand accountability from school board

Around 200 people attended the Uvalde CISD board meeting, including families of 19 students and two teachers murdered at Robb Elementary on May 24.

UVALDE, Texas — The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District board heard from emotional and frustrated community members Monday night.

Around 200 people attended, including families of the 19 teachers and two teachers murdered at Robb Elementary on May 24.

Parents complained that schools still have too much access and too few officers.

Several victims’ families and other community members called on the board to fire Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo.

RELATED: First interior image released in Uvalde school shooting shows officers with more firepower than previously believed

DPS officials called Chief Arredondo the incident commander during the delayed breach into the classroom with the gunman.

“We were failed by Pete Arredondo,” said Brett Cross, the uncle and guardian of victim Uziyah Garcia. “He failed our kids, teachers, parents, and city, and by keeping him on your staff, y’all are continuing to fail us."

“Most of these parents don’t want to be here, but we’re here because we have to speak for our children because they can’t speak for themselves anymore,” said Angel Garza, the stepfather of victim Amerie Jo Garza. “So, please just do us the favor and do what you know is right and make these people accountable for what happened.”

RELATED: Uvalde school mass shooting: What we know about the victims

Liliana Garcia also spoke. She is the daughter of Irma Garcia, the teacher killed in the shooting, and Joe Garcia, who died of a heart attack two days later.

“I would like to share a quote of one of my little sister’s agonizing cries,” said Garcia. “She said, ‘My mom died protecting her students, but who was protecting my mom?’ This will always haunt me and should always haunt all of you.”

Chief Arredondo told the Texas Tribune he never thought he was the incident commander. The chief was not seen at Monday’s meeting.

As school board members left the stage to start a closed-door session, parents walked out of the meeting angry because no action was taken on the chief’s employment.

On Tuesday evening, Uvalde City Council will consider granting Chief Arredondo a leave of absence from future council meetings. He was elected to City Council before the shooting and privately sworn in afterward.

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