Uvalde Mayor Fears Cover-Up in State’s Investigation of Elementary School Shooting That Killed 19 Children

The mayor of Uvalde, Texas, said he wanted Governor Greg Abbott to intervene in the Department of Public Service’s ongoing investigation into May’s shooting at Uvalde Elementary School.

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told CNN that he is not fully confident in the state agency, as he believes the probe is a “cover-up.” McLaughlin went on to say that he believed DPS director Col. Steven McCraw was possibly protecting other agencies.

Previously, McGraw called the response to the May 24 shooting an “abject failure” which he blamed on Pete Arredondo, 50, chief of the Uvalde police school district. McGraw said Arrendondo failed to promptly confront gunman Salvador Ramos despite being the on-scene commander and had what he needed to go into the classroom where the gunman was within three minutes.

McLaughlin told CNN that he has not been briefed since the day of the shooting, which killed 21 including 19 children.

“Every agency in that hallway is gonna have to share the blame,” McLaughlin said. “At this point, I don’t know what to believe and what not to believe.”

Last month, Arrendondo told the media that he did not bring his two radios as he believed they would weigh him down. He also claimed he spent an hour trying to unlock a classroom door that separated him and the gunman.

However, officials now believe Ramos had barricaded himself in an unlocked classroom, and students waited more than an hour to be rescued.

“While they waited, the on-scene commander [Arrendondo] waited for radio and rifles. And he waited for shields, and he waited for SWAT. Lastly, he waited for a key that was never needed,” McGraw told the state Senate last month.

Security footage reportedly showed that police never tried to open the classroom door. If true, it would contradict Arredondo’s claims that he spent an hour in the hallway trying to locate a key that would open the door.

McLaughlin told CNN, “I want these families to have closure. Nothing’s ever going to heal the pain that they have, it’s never going to heal that pain but they need to know what happened and they need to know the truth.”

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[Featured image: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong]