Uvalde Mayor contradicts report, timeline of mass shooting response

Uvalde’s mayor is contradicting what was considered a major revelation regarding a police officer having the chance to stop the shooter before entering Robb Elementary back in May.

A report from Texas’ Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center noted “The UPD officer was armed with a rifle and sighted in to shoot the attacker; however, he asked his supervisor for permission to shoot. However, the supervisor either did not hear or responded too late. The officer turned to get confirmation from his supervisor, and when he turned back to address the suspect, he had entered the west hallway unabated.”

On Friday, Uvalde’s Mayor Don McLaughlin released a statement reading, “No Uvalde police officers had any opportunity to take a shot at the gunman. A Uvalde Police Department officer saw someone outside but was unsure of who he saw and observed children in the area as well. Ultimately, it was a coach with children on the playground, not the shooter.”

“For anybody to suggest this ALERRT report is in any way 50% of what happened that day is inaccurate,” said Democratic State Sen. Roland Gutierrez.

Gutierrez has been highly critical of the ALERRT report, noting it only chronicles the action of one state trooper when dozens responded to the shooting.

“This faulty report that concludes nothing, that leaves gaping holes, that doesn’t even mention the 12 Texas Department of Public Safety troopers that were in that hallway,” said Gutierrez.

Another question raised by the mayor’s statement involves who arrived at Robb Elementary and when.

Testimony from the head of DPS, Steve McCraw, to a state Senate committee stated Uvalde and Uvalde ISD police officers made it to the scene within three minutes.

McLaughlin wrote, “DPS troopers were onsite and at the door of Robb Elementary School approximately three minutes after the shooter entered the building.”

“I don’t know what they’re trying to hide here, honestly other than the fact that this was complete and utter chaos, a lack of command control at every level, a failure to communicate and just systemic failures and human errors abound,” said Gutierrez.

We reached out to both DPS and ALERRT regarding the Mayor’s statements but have not yet received a response.

Prior to the Mayor’s statement, KPRC 2 Investigates asked ALERRT officials why Border Patrol’s perspective was not included in its report, since highly trained BORTAC agents are credited with finally breaching the classroom and ending the siege. We have not received a response.

We also asked DPS officials if Border Patrol agents have been interviewed by investigators, why was that information not made a part of Director Steve McCraw’s testimony before the Senate Committee. We have not yet received a response, nor have we received a response from Customs and Border Protection as to whether agents have been invited to provide testimony to either House or Senate committees reviewing the response.

On Friday, the chair of the House investigative committee reviewing the response to the mass shooting released letters showing he has asked DPS if the committee can release to the public the 77-minute so-called “hallway” video.

In his letter, State Rep. Dustin Burrows notes the video contains no images of children but shows law enforcement’s actions leading up to the point of breaching the classroom.

According to the letter, DPS wrote that they have no problem with the video being made public, but stated the Uvalde County District Attorney has asked for it to remain confidential until the investigation is complete.

Uvalde Mayor contradicts report, timeline of mass shooting response (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)
Uvalde Mayor contradicts report, timeline of mass shooting response (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

About the Author:

Award winning investigative journalist who joined KPRC 2 in July 2000. Husband and father of the Master of Disaster and Chaos Gremlin. “I don’t drink coffee to wake up, I wake up to drink coffee.”