UVALDE, Texas – Uvalde CISD interim Superintendent Gary Patterson is giving an update after a DPS trooper shoved the mother of one of the Uvalde school shooting victims earlier this week.
On Friday, DPS released body camera and hallway surveillance camera footage of the incident that happened Wednesday at Flores Elementary School in Uvalde.
Patterson sent a letter to parents, faculty and media partners on Saturday, saying the district has since reviewed the footage and a few points “came into focus,” as stated in the letter:
- “Anxiety, emotional stress, gun-related discussions, tension, media attention and public interest will only increase as we get closer to May 24th. (May 24th will be the one-year mark since the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School last year that claimed 21 lives.)
- Activities related to May 24th have already started in our community.
- An increased amount of patience, planning, understanding, and commitment to our community is needed to avoid further incidents like those like past Wednesday.”
Ana Rodriguez — whose daughter, Maite Rodriguez, was among 19 students and two teachers killed in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School last year — tried to get her son out of school to attend a protest against gun violence on National School Walkout Day.
During her attempt, she was confronted by a trooper at the school doors. The trooper, who hasn’t been named, claimed Rodriguez was “causing a disturbance” and grabbed her, forcing her outside of the school. You can see a breakdown of DPS’s footage of the incident here.
Eventually, Rodriguez was able to retrieve her son from the school, and the trooper allowed them to leave.
Patterson said since the district reviewed the footage, it has a “general understanding” of how the confrontation between the trooper and Rodriguez escalated.
“Please remember there is no precedent in dealing with these levels of emotion, nor is there a planning map for de-escalating every incident that might prevent itself,” Patterson said in the letter.
“In the aftermath of May 24th, every parent, every visitor, every school employee, every vendor, and business client, everyone, knows that the very first thing you must do upon entering any of our campuses is to check in at the office, get cleared, and discuss your business or reasons for being there...,” Patterson added.
The interim superintendent said the district supports “both sides of this particular situation.” However, going forward, Patterson said any discussions with the people involved in the incident will remain private.
On Friday, DPS also confirmed it was investigating the incident but further details are limited.
You can read the full letter below: