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Uvalde Families Frustrated With Lack Of Info One Year Later

A year ago Wednesday, a gunman marched into Uvalde’s Robb Elementary School, shut himself in a classroom and massacred 19 fourth-graders and two teachers, while hundreds of police officers stood outside. Those connected to the victims and their advocates have spent the past year battling for information and legislation. Some of their neighbors want the noise to stop. Law enforcement waited to intervene even as children in the classroom called 911 begging for help. When a Border Patrol tactical team finally entered and took down the killer, they saw he had written ‘LOL’ on a white board with the victims’ blood. Uvalde, a south Texas town of 15,400, is divided over how to move forward, reports the Wall Street Journal. Many families of those killed and their advocates are vocal in their efforts to get information while officials say that investigation of the incident has to take priority over releasing information. Advocacy for new gun legislation has also led to conflict.

After the shooting, the school district fired campus police chief Pete Arredondo, who was commander at the scene. City police Lt. Mariano Pargas, the acting chief the day of the shooting, retired after the city announced an investigation into his actions, though he remains an elected county commissioner. The Texas Department of Public Safety served termination papers to two of its state troopers. Most of the school district’s central administration has turned over. At the state Capitol in Austin, where lawmakers are finishing a biennial session, Uvalde families showed up repeatedly to push a bill that would have raised the age to buy some semiautomatic rifles from 18 to 21. They waited 13 hours to testify in the middle of the night. State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat who represents the district and has made advocating for Uvalde families a nearly full-time job, teared up during a speech on the Senate floor last week, speaking of his frustration that the age-raising measure failed, while apologizing to his colleagues for his intensity. Gutierrez has been vocal about his frustrations regarding information being blocked, including a preliminary report by the Texas Department of Public Safety, which was tasked with investigating the shooting response. Uvalde-area District Attorney Christina Mitchell ordered local and state agencies not to release any information related to the shooting, saying her office planned to review potential charges.


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