Jul 5, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Uvalde mayor says he fears "cover-up" of deadly school shooting

Photo of a memorial site with crosses, flowers and pictures surrounding a brick sign that says "Robb Elementary School"
The memorial for the massacre at Robb Elementary School on June 24 in Uvalde, Texas. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar via Getty Images

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday that he fears there may be a "cover-up" scheme related to what happened the day of the Robb Elementary School shooting.

Why it matters: Law enforcement retracted multiple statements about the shooting in the aftermath, sowing confusion and distrust in local officials. McLaughlin, who has publicly accused a state agency of perpetrating "false leaks" about the shooting, has since called on the Justice Department to investigate the law enforcement response.

What he's saying: In the interview, McLaughlin repeatedly said he has lost trust in the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), which is overseeing its own probe into the events of the shooting.

  • "I'm not confident, 100%, in DPS because I think it's a cover-up," McLaughlin told CNN. Texas DPS director Steven McGraw, who has laid the blame squarely with school police chief Pete Arredondo, is "covering up for maybe his agencies."
  • McLaughlin said the full story hasn't come out yet and that Texas DPS has not been transparent. He claimed he has not had a briefing "from anybody" since the day after the shooting. "At this point, I don't know what to believe and what not to believe."
  • "Every agency in that hallway is going to have to share the blame," he noted. Officers from multiple law enforcement agencies had gathered at the scene by the time the gunman was killed.

Worth noting: McLaughlin and state Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D) have asked Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to remove Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee from overseeing the Uvalde victims' compensation fund.

The big picture: The city of Uvalde has contracted a private Texas law firm to argue that it should be exempt from releasing public records related to the mass shooting.

Go deeper... Uvalde gunman's last 90 minutes: What we know

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