Uvalde under scrutiny: What we know about the key figures connected to the shooting response

Title: Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety (appointed by Governor Greg Abbott)

His connection to the massacre: McCraw heads the state agency investigating the police response to the mass shooting in Uvalde. His agency includes the Texas Rangers, an investigative division of the Texas DPS.

McCraw called the police response “an abject failure and contradicted everything we’ve learned over the past two decades since the Columbine massacre.”

He identified the incident commander as the school district police chief and rejected the chief’s decision not to immediately break through the classroom door. Officers waited in or around a hallway for more than an hour after the shooting began.

“It was the wrong decision, period,” McCraw said. “There’s no excuse for that.”

Why he’s under scrutiny: The mayor of Uvalde criticized McCraw for blaming the chief of police at the Uvalde School when officers from McCraw’s own office were also on the scene.

DPS did not respond directly to McLaughlin’s criticism of McCraw. In a July 5 statement, DPS said it is “committed to working with multiple law enforcement agencies to get the answers we are all seeking” and said that “this is still an active and ongoing investigation.”

The 376 respondents came from a variety of agencies, according to a report by the Texas House Commission of Inquiry. Among them were 149 from the United States Border Patrol, 91 from the Texas Department of Public Safety and 14 from the Department of Homeland Security.

“Every agency in that hallway will have to share the blame,” the mayor of McLaughlin told CNN on July 5.

A shifting timeline of when DPS personnel arrived on the scene raises serious questions about the department’s trustworthiness, the head of Texas’ largest police union told CNN. He has called for an “independent outside source” to investigate the initial response.

“I don’t know if we (DPS) can rely on it to do an internal investigation,” said Charley Wilkison, executive director of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, which represents some law enforcement officers in Uvalde. “I would say DPS was quick to wash their hands, point the finger and make sure the general public, especially the elected officials, knew they were spotless and flawless and that this was a local issue.”

The last: While in June the DPS director called the response an “abject failure,” just 2 minutes and 28 seconds after the gunman entered a DPS trooper on the scene outside Robb Elementary, CNN was the first to report on Aug. 2. The trooper was seen on the police bodycam video provided to CNN by McLaughlin.

Earlier, McCraw said a trooper had entered the hallway at 11:42 a.m., or nine minutes after the gunman entered the school. Uvalde police bodycam video first reported by CNN showed a DPS trooper at the west entrance of the school at 11:37:51 – about five minutes earlier than previously acknowledged.

DPS’s investigation into the shooting includes an internal review of the actions taken by each DPS officer on the scene to determine whether someone should be referred to an inspector general for investigation, McCraw said on Aug. 4. The DPS director said he hadn’t yet reviewed video from all 34 body cameras — noting he may need to correct that number in the future — but he had seen clips.

McCraw would not disclose details of the investigation, in accordance with the request of a Uvalde County district attorney, he said, noting the case could take years.

Photo: Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis/Getty Images

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