This story is part of a KXAN series of reports called “Stop Mass Shootings,” providing context and exploring solutions surrounding gun violence in the wake of the deadly Uvalde school shooting. We want our reports to be a resource for Texans, as well as for lawmakers who are convening a month after the events in Uvalde to discuss how the state should move forward. Explore all “Stop Mass Shootings” stories by clicking here.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Uvalde Mayor Don McLoughlin said the Texas Department of Public Safety director mislead lawmakers during Tuesday’s hearing on the mass shooting at Robb Elementary that killed 21 people, including small children.
“Col. McCraw has continued to, whether you want to call it, lie, leak, mislead or misstate information in order to distance his own troopers and Rangers from the response. Every briefing he leaves out the number of his own officers and Rangers that were on scene that day,” McLaughlin said to a packed city council meeting Tuesday. “There are eight agencies that are going to be accountable to everybody for what went on in that hall, and DPS is one of them.”
McLaughlin’s comments came after earlier testimony from Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw, who laid out the most detailed timeline to date of what happened during the school shooting at Robb Elementary.
During his testimony, McCraw called the police response to Robb Elementary on May 24 “an abject failure” and told lawmakers officers on the scene waited one hour and 14 minutes before going into the classroom and killing the shooter.
“While [the children in the classrooms] waited [to be rescued], the on-scene commander waited for radio and rifles. Then he waited for shields. Then he waited for SWAT. Lastly, he waited for a key that was never needed,” said McCraw on Tuesday. “The post-Columbine document is clear and compelling and unambiguous: stop the killing, stop the dying.”
McLaughlin also said Uvalde city officials, including his own office, have not received any briefings from Texas DPS since the days immediately following the shooting.
“We have not received one briefing from the rangers, the DPS, or anybody. No one. So we are just as in the dark as you are, and we are tired of it,” said McLaughlin.
The Texas State senator who represents Uvalde said Wednesday he is suing Texas DPS for failing to provide public records he requested from the agency, including the ballistics report and any reports detailing how police responded to the shooting.
The lawsuit said by law, DPS had 10 business days to either respond to Gutierrez’s request or seek a decision from the attorney general on whether the release of documents could be denied, but the agency did neither. Gutierrez claims DPS violated Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code by failing to provide the documents.
The Uvalde mayor also hinted at a possible lawsuit from the city against Texas DPS to get information on the shooting. KXAN reached out to DPS for comment on the lawsuit and McLaughlin’s comments and has not heard back.
“Maybe the headlines are going to be the city of Uvalde sues the DPS,” McLaughlin said during Tuesday’s city council meeting. “The City of Uvalde sues the district attorney for information, because we are d–m sure aren’t getting it any other way.”
McLaughlin also said the Uvalde District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee told him she would contain leaks and statements from other agencies on the shooting at Robb Elementary. KXAN reached out to Mitchell Busbee and has not heard back as of publication.
“Ms. Mitchell stated under no uncertain terms — no one would be making any statements whatsoever unless it came from her office. In addition, she would be seeking a gag order to enforce it,” said McLaughlin.
McLaughlin said he requested an independent review by the U.S. Attorney’s Office into the shooting at Robb Elementary.