The mayor of Uvalde, Texas says the head of the state’s department of public safety is lying or leaking information after devastating testimony from the head of the Texas DPS earlier today, blaming the failed police response to the school shooting that claimed 21 lives on the Uvalde school district police chief.
“The gloves are off,” said Mayor Don McLaughlin. “As we know it, we will share it. We are not going to hold back. We kept quiet at the request because we thought we were doing an investigation and doing the right thing but yet, they can go to Austin and have public deals and talk about different things and don’t share anything with this city.”
McLaughlin said he’s been unable to get information for himself or the grieving families of 19 students and two teachers killed at Robb Elementary School he represents from DPS, the governor’s office and any other agency. Along with the rest of the country, he learned details about the investigator Tuesday, as DPS Director Col. Steve McCraw testified before a special Texas Senate committee today publicly.
“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw told the committee about Uvalde Consolidated ISD Police Chief Pete Arrendondo.
Arredondo himself was the subject of a Uvalde City Council vote Tuesday night, as McLaughlin and the other city council members unanimously voted to deny the police chief, who is also a city council member, a leave of absence.
“Colonel McMcraw, whether you want to call it a lie, leak, mislead or misstate information in order to distance his own troopers and Rangers from the (law enforcement) response,” said McLaughlin. “Every briefing, he leaves out the numbers of his own officers and Rangers that were on scene that day.
McLaughlin says he’s not trying to protect anyone and has no allegiance to anyone, revealing that he is maxed out of term limits and will not seek any other public office.
“Col. McCraw has an agenda and has not to present a full report and to give factual answers to the families of this community. The petty infighting to make headlines and politically motivated scapegoating is not helping anyone. It is dividing a community and further frustrating grieving families,” said the mayor.
Robb Elementary School, the site of the May 24 massacre, will also be demolished, the mayor said. The school district had previously said students would not be returning to the campus.