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Group of media organizations -- including KHOU 11 -- sues Texas DPS for records on Uvalde mass shooting

Nineteen students and two teachers were killed on May 24. The media coalition is looking for more information to be released about what happened that day.

HOUSTON — What were Texas Department of Public Safety troopers doing at Robb Elementary School on May 24, the day a gunman shot and killed 19 students and two teachers?  That’s what a media coalition – which includes KHOU 11 – is trying to find out through a lawsuit filed on Monday.   

The coalition of local, national and state media organizations filed the suit, asking a judge to order the DPS to release records on their response to the Uvalde mass shooting. 

The media organizations in the coalition have all filed requests under the Texas Public Information Act. In a news release, the coalition says the DPS has refused to release records in response to these requests, citing an exemption for records in an ongoing investigation. 

The coalition of media organizations, however, argues that there is no ongoing criminal investigation and the guilt of the shooter – who authorities say acted alone – was never in question. The Uvalde County district attorney also acknowledges that she’s not conducting a criminal investigation.

The following records are among the items requested by the media coalition:

  • Emails
  • Body camera and other video footage
  • Call logs
  • 911 and other emergency communication
  • Interview notes
  • Forensic and ballistic records
  • Lists of DPS personnel who responded to the mass shooting

Just last week, KHOU 11's Len Cannon asked Governor Abbott when he would order DPS to release bodycam video. Governor Abbott's answer is in the video below. 

 

RELATED: Gov. Abbott speaks to KHOU 11 about issues in Texas, including Uvalde

“In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, and continuing throughout the ensuing two months, DPS has declined to provide any meaningful information in response to the Requests regarding the events of that day — despite the unfathomable reality that some 376 members of law enforcement responded to the tragedy, and hundreds of those were in the school or on school property not going into the unlocked classroom where the gunman continued killing helpless youth,” the plaintiffs asserted in a news release. “At the same time, DPS has offered conflicting accounts regarding the response of law enforcement, the conduct of its officers, the results of its own investigation, and the agency’s justifications for withholding information from the public.”

DPS had 91 officers respond to the shooting.

RELATED: Houston-area educators prioritizing active shooting training after Uvalde school shooting

The media organizations include KHOU 11 and the TEGNA Texas television stations; The Texas Tribune, ABC News; CBS News; CNN; Dow Jones & Co.; Gannett; Graham Media Group, Houston; Graham Media Group, San Antonio; NBC News; The New York Times Company; Pro Publica, Inc.; Scripps Media; and The Washington Post.

The suit is part of an ongoing effort to provide the community and public with information about the events of that day.

The Texas Public Information Act states each person is entitled, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, to complete information about the acts of public officials and employees, like DPS.

RELATED: Newly released Uvalde school shooting report finds 'systemic failures, egregious poor decision making'

RELATED: El informe sobre el tiroteo en la escuela de Uvalde revela ‘fracasos sistémicos y una toma de decisiones atroz’

More coverage of the investigation into the Robb Elementary School mass shooting. 

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