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UVALDE, Texas – Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said he suspects Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw is “covering up” details of the Robb Elementary School massacre.
McLaughlin spoke with CNN Tuesday and said he suspects McCraw is covering up for his agency.
“It’s always hard when you tell a lie that you have to keep telling a lie. I’m not saying he’s lying. Maybe he was misled with information,” McLaughlin said.
McCraw has placed blame for the bungled handling of the active shooter scenario on May 24 squarely on Uvalde schools police Chief Pete Arredondo. He has maintained that Arredondo is responsible in the weeks since, calling the response to the shooting an “abject failure” during a special Texas Senate committee hearing on June 21.
“You know, every agency in that hallway is gonna have to share the blame,” McLaughlin said. “And like I said again, I’ll go back to when have you ever seen a federal or state law enforcement officer take their cues from local law enforcement?”
McLaughlin said McCraw is going to have to be held accountable.
“Your story can’t change on something this horrific three times, four times in three days and that’s what it’s done,” he said. “Let’s be candid.
“I mean when I got to that scene there were 30 to 40 DPS officers already on scene. In the various videos you see from outside, you see DPS officers run around with flak jackets on and ballistic helmets on and different things,” McLaughlin said. “That’s video that’s been shown from the outside. But yet we want to talk about no presence on the DPS there in the hallway. I know at one time there were 14 of them in the hallway. Now if they stayed there or not, I can’t tell you because I hadn’t seen the video.”
Multiple reports have detailed the delayed police response, indicating that responding officers from various agencies waited in the hallway outside the classrooms where the massacre occurred for 77 minutes before engaging with the 18-year-old shooter who killed 19 students and two teachers.
In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, one officer on the scene said “there was almost a mutiny. We were like, ‘There’s a f—ing gunman in the school, we hear gunshots, and we’re just going to stand here with our thumbs up our asses?’”
“It is a failure. But I mean that failure, every agency has to own part of it,” McLaughlin said.
The mayor said he thinks pointing everyone in one direction towards blaming a single person could be detrimental to the truth being revealed.
“If we point the truth, if we point everything over here, then the truth is not gonna come out and these families in this community, they deserve to know what happened,” he said.
“I think we will get to the truth. I think they put themselves in a corner and they don’t have a way out, yet, and they’re just trying to figure out how do you, because they’ve released so much BS in my opinion, that they put themselves in the corner. So how do you come out of the corner,” McLaughlin said of McCraw and Texas DPS.