Oct 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Texas state trooper criticized for response to Uvalde shooting has been fired

Kids walk past two law enforcement on their way into school as students go back to school months after deadly US shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Kids walk past two law enforcement on their way into school in Uvalde, Texas. Photo: Pedro Salazar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A Texas state trooper who was among the first to respond to the Uvalde shooting earlier this year has been fired, the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: The trooper, Sgt. Juan Maldonado, is the third officer with ties to the botched response by police to the Uvalde school shooting who has been fired.

  • He is the first member of the state police force to lose their job in the fallout over the response to the shooting, AP writes.

Details: Maldonado "was served with termination papers on Friday," the department's press secretary, Ericka Miller, told Axios in an email. No additional details were given.

  • He joins school police officer Crimson Elizondo and Pete Arredondo, the former Uvalde school district police chief, as officers who were fired because of their response to the shooting, which killed 19 students and two teachers.
  • Texas DPS did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Flashback: Body camera footage showed Maldonado arrived at the scene of the Uvalde shooting four minutes after it started, but he did not enter the school, per Texas Tribune.

  • When another officer suggested they enter the school building, Maldonado said that DPS was sending people to help, according to the Tribune.
  • Many of the officers on the scene wished to go inside to confront the shooter, but there was a lack of clear orders to do so, Axios' Ivana Saric writes.
  • The actions of police during the shooting have been the subject of controversy and criticism by families, parents and local officials. There have been claims of a "cover-up" scheme by local and state officials.
  • Texas DPS said last month that at least five officers were under investigation, CBS News reports.

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