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Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde, sued the Texas Department of Public Safety on Wednesday over access to records related to the Robb Elementary school shooting, making him the latest public official to express outrage about the lack of transparency coming from top law enforcement officials in the state.
“From the very start, the response to this awful gun tragedy has been full of misinformation and outright lies from our government,” Gutierrez said Wednesday.
“The community of Uvalde deserves answers now, so that we can begin to heal and make sure a massacre like this never happens again.”
Officials offered conflicting information that left more questions than answers in a spate of press conferences in the days after the shooting.
This week, DPS Director Steven McCraw revealed the most comprehensive timeline yet on the police response to the tragedy, detailing how police waited over an hour in the hallway of the school before confronting the shooter, despite having ballistic shields and rifles for much of that time.
“Three minutes after the suspect entered the west building, there was a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract, and neutralize the subject,” McCraw said at the Texas Senate on Tuesday.
While McCraw has cast most of the blame on the Uvalde school police chief, some local officials have sharply criticized state law enforcement officials for a lack of transparency and their own supposed failures.
“The politically motivated scapegoating is not helping anyone. It is dividing a community and further frustrating grieving families. So as I told you earlier… the gloves are off. As we know it, we will share it. We are not going to hold back anymore,” Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told local residents at a city council meeting on Tuesday.
“We kept quiet at their request, because we thought we were doing a formal investigation and doing the right thing, but yet they can go to Austin and have public deals and talk about it and different things, and not share a d–n thing with this city or anybody in this community. And that’s wrong.”
State and local agencies have asked the Texas Attorney General to rule on what records can be released amid the ongoing investigation.
Gov. Greg Abbott said this week that requests for information related to the tragedy are being expedited.
“The Governor and his office will continue making all available information public, including the full results of the ongoing investigation by the Texas Rangers and the FBI,” Abbott’s office said Tuesday. “The Governor wants all facts of this tragedy to be made public as quickly as possible and will do his part to achieve that goal.”
Texas DPS did not respond to a request for comment about Gutierrez’s lawsuit.