Texas DPS won’t discipline any more officers for Uvalde shooting response

The Department of Public Safety has finished its investigation into how officers responded to Texas’ deadliest school shooting. The agency has fired one officer and is in the process of firing another.

UVALDE, TEXAS - MAY 30: Steven C. McCraw, Director and Colonel of the Texas Department of Public Safety (2nd L), speaks with DPS State Troopers near Robb Elementary School on May 30, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) (Michael M Santiago/GettyImages, 2022 Getty Images)

The Texas Department of Public Safety has completed its internal investigation of how seven of its troopers responded to the Uvalde school shooting, and none will face additional discipline, the agency confirmed Thursday.

The agency fired one officer, Sgt. Juan Maldonado, and is attempting to terminate another, Ranger Christopher Kindell. A third, Trooper Crimson Elizondo, resigned before the investigation into her conduct was resolved. She later was hired by the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s police department, which fired her after community members criticized that move.

The four remaining troopers were cleared, DPS spokesperson Travis Considine said Thursday. The agency had not publicly announced the completion of its probe; Director Steve McCraw told reporters after a budget hearing at the Texas Capitol on Thursday that no other officers would face discipline.

Why Kindell and Maldonado were disciplined remains unclear. Ninety-one DPS personnel responded to the shooting, second only to the U.S. Border Patrol.

The agency faced criticism because no DPS officer took charge of the chaotic law enforcement response, though McCraw has been critical that the school district police chief failed to do so.

A Texas House special committee investigation into the shooting faulted all officers, including those from DPS, for the disastrous response. Law enforcement waited more than an hour to confront the gunman, who killed 19 students and two teachers.

McCraw has resisted calls to resign over his agency’s handling of the shooting from some victims’ families and state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, who has fiercely criticized DPS since the tragedy.

McCraw reiterated that stance Thursday, telling reporters Texans would be “stuck with me for the time being. … I will be here for a while.”

Correction, Feb. 9, 2023 at 7:53 p.m.: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said DPS Director Steve McCraw’s comments were made Wednesday. They were made Thursday.

Copyright: Texas Tribune 2023