UVALDE, Texas — Senator Roland Gutierrez is suing the Texas Department of Public Safety for documents related to the school shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.
The suit alleges DPS violated public records law by ignoring the Democrat's request for certain reports.
"Be truthful with the public of Texas. Say you erred. Say we all erred, and move on," Gutierrez told KENS 5 in an interview Wednesday. "Let this community heal through the truth."
Texas law requires state agencies to acknowledge public records requests, either by releasing the records or appealing records' release to the attorney general. If a department ignores the request, a judge may compel that agency to release the desired material.
DPS did not respond to KENS 5's request for comment about the suit.
A gunman armed with a rifle and hundreds of rounds of expensive ammunition murdered 19 children and 2 teachers at the school on May 24.
The gunman waited in the classroom for more than an hour before law enforcement barged in and killed the shooter. Gutierrez contends DPS hasn't taken enough responsibility for law enforcement's delay.
"Everything has been put in place to establish a false narrative that, 'These other guys failed. We didn't fail. Those guys failed,'" he said.
During a Texas Senate hearing Tuesday, DPS director Steve McCraw again blamed school police chief Pete Arredondo for law enforcement's response. McCraw identified Arredondo as the on-scene commander, a responsibility the chief rejects.
"To simply point your finger at the local school cop isn't responsible and it's not helping in the community," Gutierrez said.
The senator notes there were 360 other law enforcement officers at Robb Elementary on May 24, including 91 from DPS.
He isn't the only elected official who's questioned why troopers didn't take command of the situation or barge inside the classroom themselves.
"Everybody is trying to 'CYA' on this," Uvalde mayor Don McLaughlin said Tuesday. "It's almost like they don't want to admit there were DPS officers there."
McLaughlin called McCraw's testimony to the Senate the "Bozo the clown show."
"He didn't talk about any other agencies that were there," McLaughlin said. "Every report you hear, we never talk about DPS officers being there. You always want to talk about local officers there."
McCraw didn't directly address why troopers inside Robb's hallways didn't barge into the classroom, though he said misinformation was rampant during the response. He also said, in general, it's dangerous for law enforcement officers to take action without instruction.
"One fails, we all fail," McCraw told lawmakers. "I appear to be hyper-critical of the on-scene commander. I don't mean to be, but the facts are the facts."
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