The mayor of Uvalde, Don McLaughlin, has made allegations of a “cover-up” regarding the recent school shooting in his Texas city.
On Tuesday, Mayor McLaughlin gave an interview to CNN, claiming the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) was not acting transparently during investigations into the tragedy.
“I’m not confident, 100 percent, in DPS because I think it’s a cover-up,” McLaughlin said.
The agency is responsible for investigating the police response to the school shooting.
DPS is probing why armed officers waited in the Robb Elementary School hallway for over an hour before moving in on the gunman.
Due to the police’s inaction, 19 children and two adults were killed in the shooting, CNN reported.
Due to conflicting reports, McLaughlin was left doubtful as to whether DPS was purposefully investigating the truth of what happened in Uvalde on May 24.
“Your story can’t change on something this horrific four times in three days, and that’s what it’s done,” he said.
According to CNN, the timeline of key events that day is still unclear.
Over a month later, McLaughlin, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and Uvalde city officials are all still waiting to receive a briefing from DPS Director Col. Steven McCraw.
“McCraw’s covering up for maybe his agencies,” McLaughlin said.
“I’m not saying he’s lying. Maybe he was misled with information he’s gotten.”
McCraw did testify before the Texas Senate on June 21, saying the police response to the attack was an “abject failure.”
The DPS leader also blamed the leadership of former Uvalde school’s Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo.
On June 22, Arredondo was pulled from his school position.
He resigned from the Uvalde City Council on Friday.
“Every agency in that hallway is gonna have to share the blame,” McLaughlin said.
“I think [McCraw’s] gonna have to be held accountable when this is all said and done, too. We all are.”
The mayor said the law enforcement response was a “failure on everybody’s part.”
DPS is refusing to comment and is instead redirecting queries to District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee for more information.
Texas Sen. Roland Gutierrez tweeted a letter to Abbott on Tuesday, calling for Busbee’s removal from her position on the Uvalde Together Resiliency Center.
Uvalde mayor Don McLaughlin and I demand that @GovAbbott remove DA Busbee as the head of victim assistance after numerous complaints about the Uvalde Together Resiliency Center. Instead we ask that TDEM, a more qualified organization, provide this service. pic.twitter.com/cpCAaMd9wW
— Senator Roland Gutierrez (@RolandForTexas) July 5, 2022
DPS press secretary Ericka Beltran released a statement that said: “The Texas Department of Public Safety is committed to working with multiple law enforcement agencies to get the answers we all seek.”
The mayor said DPS is refusing to reveal “the truth.”
“They’ve [DPS authorities] backed themselves into a corner, and they don’t have a way out yet,” McLaughlin said.
“They’ve released so much B.S., in my opinion, that they put themselves into a corner.”
The local mayor added he was confident “we’ll get to the truth” because “these families in this community, they deserve to know what happened.”
On May 29, the Justice Department announced that it was investigating the issue as well at McLaughlin’s request.