The Department of Public Safety stopped holding public briefings in the week following the May 24 shooting after several of the details shared by officials, including Mr. McCraw and Gov. Greg Abbott, came to light. incorrect. Information that had been corrected included the time it took officers to fire the first shots at the shooter (not immediately, but an hour and 17 minutes after he began firing inside the school) and how he gained access to the building. (not by a door that had been propped open, but by one that was unlocked.)
State police stopped providing updates and began referring media requests to local district attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee, who declined all requests for interviews and held no press conferences. .
The changing narrative surrounding the massacre, which left 19 children and two teachers dead, quickly undermined confidence in official accounts of the shooting and created tension between state and Uvalde officials, including the most rallied around their city’s police department and Mr. Arredondo. , who recently served on the city council.
A lawyer for Mr. Arredondo did not respond to a request for comment.
Those tensions only grew when Mr McCraw held a press conference three days after the shooting and said Mr Arredondo had been put in charge of the police response and made the ‘wrong decision’ by not not trying to confront the shooter immediately.
Shortly after that press conference on May 27, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin asked the federal Justice Department to conduct its own investigation, independent of that of the Texas Rangers, who report to Mr. McCraw. The state legislature is also investigating, which means there are now at least three separate investigations into what happened.
Without official briefings, details emerged through other means, including through investigative documents, surveillance videos and transcripts of police body camera recordings reviewed by The Times.
The Times revealed that Mr Arredondo had arrived at school without his police radio and focused on finding the keys to the classrooms, even if it was not evident in the videos that anyone checked the classroom door to see if it was locked. He also reported that police supervisors had been informed that there were people alive but injured in the classroomsthis the officer had been on the phone with his wifea teacher, after she was shot but before her death, and that a A policeman from Uvalde passed up an opportunity to shoot the shooter outside of school, afraid of hitting children.
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