Uvalde School Shooting

Uvalde Police Agree to Cooperate With Probe: Texas Lawmaker

Law enforcement officials have stopped providing updates to the public after releasing too many conflicting accounts

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Police in Uvalde agreed Friday to speak to a Texas House committee investigating the May 24 massacre at an elementary school, according to a Republican lawmaker leading the probe who had begun to publicly question why the officers were not cooperating sooner.

"Took a little bit longer than we initially had expected," Texas Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock, District 83) said.

On Thursday, Burrows signaled impatience with Uvalde police, tweeting that most people had fully cooperated with their investigation "to help determine the facts" and that he didn't understand why the city's police force "would not want the same."

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UVALDE, TEXAS - JUNE 17: U.S. Rep Dustin Burrows (R-TX) adjourns a public hearing on June 17, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. The committee has begun meeting to hear invited testimony from law enforcement authorities, family members and witnesses regarding the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School which killed 19 children and two adults. Because of the quasi-judicial nature of the committee's investigation and pursuant to House, Section 12, witnesses will be examined in the executive session.

He did not say which members of the department will meet with the committee, which is set to continue questioning witnesses in Uvalde on Monday about the attack that killed 19 students and two teachers and injured more than a dozen others.

Uvalde police did not reply to messages seeking comment.

Weeks after one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, law enforcement officials have stopped providing updates about what they've learned about the shooting and the police response. Their silence comes after authorities gave conflicting and incorrect accounts in the days after the shooting, sometimes withdrawing statements hours after making them.

Officials also haven't released records sought under public information laws to media outlets, including The Associated Press, often citing broad exemptions and the ongoing investigation. It has raised concerns about whether such records will be released, even to victims' families.

The state House committee has interviewed more than a dozen witnesses behind closed doors so far, including state police, school staff and school district police. The list of witnesses provided by the committee so far has not included Pete Arrendondo, the Uvalde school district police chief, who has faced criticism over his actions during the attack.

Burrows defended the committee interviewing witnesses in private and not revealing their findings so far, saying its members want an accurate account before issuing a report.

"One person's truth may be different than another person's truth," Burrows said Friday.

Since the shooting, Republican leaders in Texas have called for more mental health funding but not new gun restrictions. Authorities say the 18-year-old gunman used an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle. Police did not confront the gunman for more than an hour, even as anguished parents outside the school urged officers to go in.


Members of a House committee placed a wreath at the memorial outside Robb Elementary School and then toured the inside of the building.

"The gravity of it really is immeasurable. It does not have words or significance that I can express enough," said Borrows.

Rep. Burrows is leading what's been described as a fact-finding mission into what happened the day a gunman entered an unlocked backdoor at the school, and opened fire, killing 21 people.

One of those killed was 10-year-old Uziyah Garcia whose parent spoke one-on-one with committee members during Friday's school visit.

At city hall, Borrows addressed the parent's question about why the hearings are happening in private.

"I'm not telling you that this is the perfect way to go about doing it by any stretch of the imagination. but it's the way we know that we feel works and believe in it and it's only to try to get to the bottom of it so I can look you in the eye and tell you, sir, this is what I believe to be true," Borrows said.

Among those interviewed Friday were a third and fourth-grade teacher and fourth-grade math and science teacher.

A Uvalde CISD police officer and a Uvalde CISD lieutenant were also interviewed.

Monday is expected to be the third and final day of hearings in Uvalde. The committee said late Friday that both the Uvalde police department and the police department for the district are cooperating.

NBC 5's Meredith Yeomans contributed to this report.

Copyright NBC 5 News and The Associated Press
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