DPS officers at Uvalde school shooting have been under investigation since July, records confirm

Probe into actions of officers is ongoing; no final disciplinary action issued

AUSTIN, Texas – Some Texas Department of Public Safety officers who responded to the Robb Elementary School shooting in May have been under investigation since July, DPS records obtained by KSAT Investigates confirm.

The confirmed July 25 referral of DPS officers to the Office of Inspector General for possible disciplinary action is much earlier than the early September date that has been widely reported.

Lt. Col. Jeoff Williams, DPS deputy director of law enforcement services, informed DPS’ top brass, including Director Steve McCraw, on July 25 that he recommended a list of officers be placed under investigation, records show.

“The Committee assigned to review the DPS employee response to the Uvalde school shooting has met and reviewed videos and statements. Upon initial review of the material, the Committee has identified actions which may be inconsistent with training and Department requirements. Consequently, I recommend the Office of Inspector General investigate the response/actions of the following officers,” Williams wrote the evening of July 25.

DPS officials this week redacted the names of the officers included in the email, stating in a letter to KSAT Investigates that it could not release that information while the investigation into their actions is ongoing.

DPS officials have not said how many officers were referred to the agency’s OIG, an independent division of DPS that investigates possible misconduct by its employees, on July 25 specifically.

According to media reports, as many as seven DPS officers are now being investigated for their actions on May 24 after a shooter entered the Uvalde elementary school, killing 19 students and two teachers.

A Texas House investigative report released in mid-July detailed the failed law enforcement response.

Law enforcement, including DPS officers, waited in a school hallway well over an hour before a team led by US Border Patrol agents breached a classroom and killed the gunman.

Well over 300 law enforcement personnel, including 91 officers from DPS, responded to the school as part of the mass shooting response, officials have previously said.

McCraw previously called law enforcement’s response to the shooting an “abject failure.”

The email from Williams obtained by KSAT Investigates confirms OIG’s inquiry began about a week after the house report was released publicly.

Disciplinary action taken against law enforcement personnel who responded to the shooting has been slow going.

Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department Chief Pete Arredondo, who was described as the incident commander during the shooting, was fired by the district’s school board late last month.

Uvalde Police Department’s acting chief on the day of the shooting, Lt. Mariano Pargas, was placed on leave the day the house report was released.

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About the Author

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

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