AUSTIN – A nonprofit group that formed in response to the Robb Elementary massacre in Uvalde has issued a response to Thursday’s Department of Public Safety hearing on the investigation, calling it a “bait and switch” and a “glorified press conference.”
The hearing, during a Public Safety Commission meeting in Austin, was the first time that the victims’ families were able to speak publicly and face-to-face with the DPS director as his agency and others remain under fire for their response to the massacre.
Brett Cross, the guardian of student Uziyah Garcia and Manuel Rizo, the uncle of student Jackie Gutierrez, spoke during the hearing.
They urged DPS Director Steve McCraw to resign, but McCraw refused.
Sen. Roland Gutierrez also criticized McCraw and the Public Safety Commission for not only withholding information but providing false information to the public.
Gutierrez urged DPS to provide the truth, have accountability, own up to any inactions and make restitution payments to victims.
Cross is one of the founders of the “Lives Robbed” group, which works to bring attention to gun violence and advocate for tougher gun laws.
After Thursday’s hearing, the group issued the following statement:
“Today, The Department of Public Safety promised an update into their investigation of the Robb Elementary School shooting. That did not happen. Instead, in a bait and switch, they hosted a glorified press conference and once again refused to accept responsibility for their failures.
“To be clear, the Department’s failures on that day are not up for debate. Our children are dead.
“The Department’s actions today were incredibly insulting and disrespectful to grieving families who traveled hours to Austin to hear this promised update.
“Our families have already been victims of one of the worst mass shootings in Texas history, and should not have to further suffer as a result of the Department’s broken promises.
“We will not allow the Department to co-opt our grief, and the death of our children. We call upon the Department of Public Safety and the Commission to provide a real update of their investigation, and for it to be hosted in the community impacted by this tragic event -Uvalde, TX.”