The Texas Department of Public Safety broke weeks of silence on Tuesday, accusing the school district’s police chief of a flawed police response, and released the latest timeline for shooting at the Yuvarde School.
But just a few hours later, Mayor of Yuvalde, Don McLaughlin, blamed the lack of transparency in the DPS and that its director, Colonel Stephen McLaugh, deliberately minimized the mistakes of his institution. ..
“Colonel. Macrow continues to lie, divulge, mislead, or misrepresent information to keep his own soldiers and Rangers away from the response, whether you want to call it or not. At each briefing, he excludes the number of his own officers and Rangers who were on the scene that day, “McLaughlin told residents at the city council on Tuesday.
“Colonel. McCraw has an agenda and is not about giving a complete report of what happened or giving a factual answer about what happened to this community.”
The mayor’s criticism adds further confusion to the tragedy that has become a case study of bad police and worse communication. Almost a month has passed since an 18-year-old shooter killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School. According to the DPS timeline, he stayed in the classroom from 11:33 am to 12:50 pm. It was when the police finally broke the door and killed him.
Still, authorities repeatedly changed the description of important facts about what happened in the room and what the police did accordingly in those 77 minutes.
Earlier on Tuesday, McLaugh testified before the Texas Senate that the law enforcement response was a “serious failure” and violated commonly taught protocols to stop shooters as soon as possible. did.
He accused Pedro “Pete” Aledondo, the chief of the Yuvarde School District Police, who was identified by McLaugh and others as the commander of the scene, to order police to wait for unnecessary equipment and unlocked door keys in a nearby corridor. ..
“Three minutes after the subject entered the western building, enough armed police officers wore bulletproof vests to isolate, distract, and incapacitate the subject,” he said. “It was only the on-site commander who prevented the full-time officer’s corridor from entering rooms 111 and 112. The commander decided to prioritize the officer’s life over the children’s.”
CNN is seeking further comment from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the District Attorney’s Office, the Texas House Investigation Commission Chairman, and the FBI’s San Antonio office.
Dad of the 10-year-old victim says he is angry with the new image
Aledondo, who was elected to the city council again this year, has not received public attention since the shooting. He testified in a closed room on the Texas House Commission on Tuesday, but he was virtually unspoken about the decision-making on the day of the shooting.
Despite being elected to the city council, he has not yet attended the meeting. At the meeting on Tuesday night, members of the council unanimously refused him to take leave from his future meeting.
Also at the meeting, McLaughlin noticed that at least eight law enforcement officers were in the corridor outside the classroom on the day of the shooting. McLaughlin did not want to pursue the elected position again, he said he was “not concealing anyone” and that all responders should be held accountable. rice field.
He said certain information leaks over the past few weeks “continue to confuse our community and keep the whole truth out.”
He specifically aimed at what he said was a false report that local police were not working with investigators and expressed dissatisfaction with being left in the dark.
“I’m not as frustrated as a family member who lost a loved one, but I’m angry that I can’t or can’t get an answer,” says McLaughlin.
“It’s important for Yuvalde that these heartfelt families and this sad community get a complete investigation and accurate report of what happened that day. The trivial conflict, the Clickbait headline, and Political motivated scapegoats don’t help anyone. It’s a sad family that divides the community and makes it even more frustrating, “he added.
Mr McLaughlin said he had been briefed daily by the authorities since its inception, but nothing was offered.
“Gloves are off. As we know, we share it. I’m not going to put up with it anymore,” he said.
McLaughlin had previously criticized the lack of transparency from investigators at the city council on June 7. I’m not the fault of anyone, “he said.
“One day I was told something, and the next day the story changed. You were told that the teacher was holding the door open with rocks for a week, and at the end of the week the story disappeared. That’s the failure I’m talking about, “he added.
Progress on Tuesday came after a report from CNN, The Texas Tribune, Austin-American Statesman previewed part of the DPS timeline, revealing further flaws in police response.
Details from the first moment of the slaughter include that 11 police officers were inside the building within three minutes of the shooter’s shooting. Rifles and ballistic shields were soon available, reports said.
However, according to the DPS event timeline, 77 minutes have passed since the shooter started shooting until the tactical response team entered the classroom and killed. Authorities said they believed the classroom doors were locked and worked to find the keys, but reports have not yet found security footage of police officers testing the doors.
Aledondo had previously told the Texas Tribune that he did not consider himself the commander of the case and took him out of school because he thought it would be slow to carry police and college radio.
McCraw told the State Senate on Tuesday, citing a DPS assessment, that Uvalde’s school police officer’s radio did not work inside the school building due to weak signals. Border patrol agents had the only portable radio that could work, but when border patrols tried to patch the signal along with local law enforcement devices, their radio also worked. I didn’t.
According to McLaugh, DPS will release body camera footage at some point.
“Whenever the district attorney approves it, we’ll release all body camera coverage, we’ll release all school videos and funeral videos,” he said. ..