The body of Salvador Ramos, the gunman who unleashed a massacre in a school in Uvalde, Texas, was kept in a morgue for a month as local funeral homes refused to take it, according to a report in Independent. Nineteen students and two teachers were killed after 18-year-old Ramos entered the school and opened fire on May 24. It was one of the deadliest mass shootings in US history. The police have also been criticised for waiting an hour before breaching the classroom and killing Ramos.
According to Independent report, the autopsy was carried out on May 27 and the cremation held three-and-a-half weeks later.
The delay happened because of unwillingness from the locals to have anything to do with the remains of the killer and the tension within Ramos’ family, the outlet quoted Uvalde coroner Eulalio “Lalo” Diaz Jr as saying.
Two funeral homes in Uvalde – Hillcrest Memorial and Rushing-Estes-Knowles – refused to take his body.
“Once they got to him, the funeral homes in town said, ‘We don’t want to deal with him’. I had to store him for three weeks. As the funerals for the victims were going on, I was still dealing with what to do with him. It was a stressful time,” the coroner further said.
Eventually, Castle Ridge in Crystal City – 64 kilometres from Uvalde – handled Ramos’ funeral arrangements, the New York Post said in a report. However, he was cremated 64 kilometres further away, on the edge of San Antonio. The date remains unknown.
Meanwhile, reports in US media said that district police chief Pete Arredondo, who was in charge of the response to the school shooting, was fired on Wednesday. The Uvalde school board voted unanimously to terminate his contract.
The state’s public safety chief previously said Arredondo had placed “the lives of officers before the lives of children” and made “terrible decisions” while managing the crime scene.