Monday, May 29, 2023

Law officers testify for the Uvalde shooting committee

UVALDE, Texas ( Associated Press) — A legislative committee investigating last month’s fatal shooting at a Texas elementary school is set to hear more testimony from law enforcement officials on Monday.

State Representative Dustin Burroughs, who chairs the committee investigating the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, said he was looking forward to speaking with another officer and a member of the school district police, from the Uvalde Police Department and Will hear the testimony of more witnesses. Public Security Department.

“We want to at least congratulate all law enforcement agencies for being cooperative and providing witnesses,” said Burroughs, a Republican from Lubbock.

Following Burroughs’ initial statements during committee hearings in Uvalde, the committee went into executive session, barring the public from hearing witnesses’ testimony.

Last Thursday, Burroughs showed signs of impatience with the Uvalde Police Department saying it was unclear whether he would volunteer to testify before the panel. But he said on Friday that the Uvalde police officers had agreed to speak with the committee.

Burroughs said testimony will continue Tuesday in Austin. He said he expected to provide information on when at least a preliminary report would be released to the public.

An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at the school on 24 May. Questions about why the police did not confront and kill the gunman for over an hour, even as angry parents outside the school urged officers to go inside and panicked children Called 911 from inside.

Law enforcement officers have provided little or conflicting information since the shooting, sometimes withdrawing statements hours later. Officials declined to give details, citing an ongoing investigation.

Some are concerned that Texas officials will seek legal loopholes to prevent the records from being released after the case closes — even to the families of the victims. An exception to the law protects information from being released in offenses for which no one has been convicted. The Texas Attorney General’s office has ruled that this applies when a suspect dies.

Officials have also not released the records sought under public information laws to media outlets, including the Associated Press, often citing widespread exemptions and ongoing investigations. This has raised concerns about whether such records will be released, even to the families of the victims.

Others interviewed behind closed doors by the committee include school staff.

Burroughs defended the committee that interviewed witnesses privately and has so far not disclosed its findings, saying its members want an accurate account before releasing the report.


Get more Associated Press coverage of the Uvalde school shooting:

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