Texas Senate committee on Uvalde school shooting listens to public testimony
AUSTIN, Texas - The special Texas Senate committee on the deadly school shooting that left two teachers and 19 children dead is listening to public testimony today.
The committee will hear public testimony on mental health and firearm safety.
Public testimony will be limited to 2 minutes per person.
On Tuesday, the head of the Texas state police pronounced the law enforcement response to the Uvalde school shooting an "abject failure," telling lawmakers that there were enough officers and firepower on the scene to have stopped the gunman three minutes after he entered the building.
Col. Steve McCraw also said officers would have found the door to the classroom where the assailant was holed up unlocked if they had bothered to check it.
Instead, police with rifles stood in a hallway for over an hour, waiting in part for more weapons and gear, before they finally stormed the classroom and killed the gunman, putting an end to the May 24 attack that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said the head of Texas DPS has either "lied, leaked, misled or misstated" information to distance his own Troopers and Rangers from the police response at Robb Elementary.
McLaughlin said at a city council meeting Tuesday night that eight law enforcement agencies were all in the hallways. He believed each one needs to be held accountable, not just the Uvalde CISD police chief, which McCraw said "failed as an incident commander."
McLaughlin said families are still in the dark on the investigation and he hasn't been briefed since May. He said he tried calling everyone he could think of for the past week, but people in Uvalde still don't have answers.
"What kind of farce do you have in Austin today? At least the House had the audacity to keep it in the closed door session. And we had the Bozo the Clown show at the Senate today with McCraw and everyone praying out there and giving answers that they still don't have the fact to. They still don't have the truth, too. And yet again, they didn't talk about any other agencies that were there. That were there, too."
"He is the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Either he should know what his officers are doing, or someone is informing him of what his officers are doing and what went on that day," McLaughlin said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article