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Uvalde CISD superintendent announces plan to retire as district's police department is suspended

Families of the Robb Elementary School massacre victims have been calling for accountability for months.

UVALDE, Texas — Jackie Cazares’s last dance with her uncle, Jesse Rizo, happened during her first communion last Spring.

"She was a lovely, good-hearted, little girl,” Rizo said about the 9-year-old.

Cazares died three weeks later when a gunman stormed Robb Elementary and killed 19 kids and two of their teachers.

"Everywhere we go, you know, when you go eat, we need to ask for so many seats," Rizo said. "But you’re always missing one now.”

Rizo is among the many family members and friends of victims who’ve been a nonstop chorus for accountability in the wake of the tragedy and police response.

They were glad to hear Friday that Uvalde CISD suspended its entire police force pending the outcomes of an operational review by the Texas Police Chief’s Association and an outside investigation by a company called JPPI.

RELATED: Uvalde CISD suspends the district's police department amid investigation

"It’s a step in the right direction," Rizo said. "I think it’s long overdue. I think it’s something that should have happened from the beginning.”

The news came just a day after the district fired an officer who was recently hired despite being under investigation for her conduct as a DPS trooper during the massacre response.

RELATED: DPS trooper investigated for her response to school shooting hired and fired by Uvalde CISD

"There’s some sort of justice happening right now,” said Rizo.

Another big development Friday was Uvalde CISD Superintendent Hal Harrell's decision to retire. It's something he shared in a memo and planned to discuss during next Monday’s board meeting.

"He's a nice man and well-liked by the community," Rizo said. "But it's a step that needed to take place. I think it was inevitable.”

Parents who demonstrated outside Uvalde CISD headquarters for more than 200 hours packed up Friday upon news of the police department suspension.

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