State Sen. Gutierrez, Uvalde parents call for DPS director to resign after ex-trooper hired by district

Ex-trooper Crimson Elizondo was under investigation by DPS when she was hired by district

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw speaks during a press conference held outside Robb Elementary School on Friday, May 27, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. Nearly 20 officers stood in a hallway outside of the classrooms during this week's attack on a Texas elementary school for more than 45 minutes before agents used a master key to open a door and confront a gunman, authorities said Friday. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) (Associated Press)

The head of the state’s top law enforcement agency is being asked to resign after one of his troopers under investigation for her response to the May 24 shooting was later hired by the Uvalde CISD.

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez and the families of the Robb Elementary School victims said DPS Director Steven McCraw should resign because then-trooper Crimson Elizondo was among the first responders who “failed” to do their jobs.

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Elizondo, Uvalde CISD and DPS faced mounting scrutiny on Thursday after CNN and ABC News reported that Elizondo was hired for the district’s police force. Some parents recognized her as being one of the first DPS troopers to arrive at the scene of the massacre.

Body cameras showed her in her trooper uniform and with a gun, though she didn’t retrieve a long rifle or tactical gear. She mainly remained outside the building, videos show, but briefly went to the hallway that led to the classrooms where the gunman was holed up. Over the span of 77 minutes, he killed 19 students and two teachers.

Elizondo was later captured on body camera footage saying, “If my son had been in there, I would not have been outside. I promise you that,” CNN reported.

The district announced Thursday that they terminated Elizondo, as her comments “were not consistent with the district’s expectations.”

The district added that they would investigate current officers and “continue to make personnel decisions based on verifiable information.”

Elizondo was, however, one of seven troopers under investigation by DPS, according to Gutierrez and CNN. She left the agency in the summer and was then hired by UCISD.

McCraw previously told CNN that he would resign if any of his troopers had “any culpability” in the delayed response. He also told USA Today that he wishes his force would have done more to help.

In a news release, Gutierrez requested that Gov. Greg Abbott call for McCraw’s resignation.

Gutierrez released the following statement:

Some of the parents of the victims spoke out on Twitter on Wednesday night, also calling for McCraw’s resignation and saying he’s “no leader.”

“McCraw WE ARE ALL WAITING FOR YOUR RESIGNATION!!!” Angel Garza, the father of Amerie, Tweeted.

Kimberly Rubio, the mother of Alexandria “Lexi,” Tweeted, “My child was SCARED! She was in danger! Those babies and 2 teachers were in there! McCraw RESIGN NOW!”

McCraw previously placed the blame on then-UCISD police Chief Pete Arredondo, who was the on-site commander.

At a special Texas Senate committee hearing in June, McCraw called the district police response an “abject failure” as officers with rifles waited outside for more than an hour to approach the gunman.

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About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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