Five DPS officers face probe over response to Uvalde shooting

Multiple investigations into the police response are ongoing, including one from the U.S. Department of Justice, and a probe conducted by Uvalde’s district attorney.

A Texas Department of Public Safety officer stands in front of crosses with the names of victims of a school shooting, at a memorial outside Robb Elementary school, two days after a gunman killed nineteen children and two adults, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 26, 2022. (Marco Bello / Reuters)

By Sergio Martínez-Beltrán, The Texas Newsroom

Five officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety will be investigated over their response to the May shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, an agency spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday night.

Two of the officers were suspended with pay.

According to Ericka Miller, a spokesperson with DPS, the five officers “have now been referred to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) where a formal investigation into their actions that day will take place.”

Miller did not specify what, if any, were the wrongdoings of the officers.

The news of the investigation was first reported by the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE.

This is the latest development in the aftermath of the tragedy at Robb Elementary School, which left 19 kids and two teachers dead.

Nearly 400 officers from law enforcement agencies from across Texas responded to the May shooting in Uvalde, according to a report released by a Texas House committee.

The Texas Department of Public Safety had 91 officers responding — the second highest number of officers on scene.

Still, Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, has publicly blamed the former chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Pete Arredondo for the delayed response.

Arredondo was fired late last month by the Uvalde CISD school board. Meanwhile, Uvalde’s acting police chief at the time of the shooting, Mariano Pargas, is on administrative leave. 

Overall, the response of law enforcement has been highly criticized; they waited over an hour to confront and kill the shooter.

Multiple investigations into the police response are ongoing, including one from the U.S. Department of Justice, and a probe conducted by Uvalde District Attorney Christina Mitchell.

In an email Tuesday, Mitchell said she hopes “to have a full report by the end of the year if not sooner.”

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