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Texas DPS chief Steve McCraw says his agency 'did not fail' at Uvalde school shooting

The hearing comes as calls for his resignation grow even louder. The director has been heavily criticized for his response.

AUSTIN, Texas — Weeks after Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said he would resign if his troopers had “any culpability” in the botched police response to the Uvalde school shooting, he told families calling for his resignation Thursday that the agency has not failed as an institution.

“If DPS as an institution – as an institution – failed the families, failed the school, or failed the community of Uvalde, then absolutely I need to go,” McCraw said during a heated Public Safety Commission meeting. “But I can tell you this right now: DPS as an institution, right now, did not fail the community – plain and simple.”

McCraw made the remark during a frazzled nearly 15 minutes of comments after several families of the 19 children who were killed spoke during the meeting’s public hearing portion. Two teachers were also killed during the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary.

RELATED: Texas DPS director says he wishes his agency had taken control over the police response to the Uvalde shooting

Last week, DPS fired the first trooper in connection to the incident, Sgt. Juan Maldonado, who was one of the first and most-senior troopers to get to the school. The agency revealed in September at least five troopers were under investigation for their conduct that day.

Afterward, McCraw told the commission he wanted any families present to have an opportunity to respond.

Brett Cross, whose 10-year-old nephew Uziyah Garcia was among the children killed, walked to a podium.

“Are you a man of your word?” Cross asked.

“Absolutely,” McCraw said.

“Then resign.”

The meeting took a 15-minute recess about 10:10 a.m.

This story comes from our KHOU 11 News partners at The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans - and engages with them - about public policy, politics, government, and statewide issues.

RELATED: Texas DPS sergeant who responded to Uvalde shooting fired amid ongoing investigations into law enforcement response

Watch last month's interview with Steve McCraw on the failed Uvalde shooting response below: 

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