Like the rest of Uvalde, Mayor Don McLaughlin has been living in a nightmare for the last week and a half. He says, within 15 minutes of learning of the mass shooting, he was at the scene in the same room as the negotiator.
“I wasn’t there initially, but at the moment he went into that classroom, they were trying to get numbers to call him,” said McLaughlin.
The mayor says the gunman never answered the phone. He told reporters he and the negotiator were at a funeral home across the street from the elementary school and he never heard a shot fired or knew kids in the classroom targeted were calling for help.
“While I was there, I did not hear the 911 calls,” said McLaughlin. “I can assure you had I been aware of it, I would have been screaming.”
McLaughlin says he isn’t getting briefings from DPS, learning about new developments on the case on the news, like everyone else. But he says he does know one thing -- the embattled school district police chief is cooperating with the investigation.
“Mr. Arredondo has talked to DPS every day and continues to talk to DPS,” said McLaughlin.
He says his community needs prayers and answers to start healing.
“It’s something that will be a part of Uvalde forever, but we don’t have to let that define Uvalde and the people of Uvalde,” he said.
Full coverage of the Uvalde mass school shooting at KHOU.com/Uvalde