Robb Elementary victims’ families, Uvalde city council members denounce independent report into deadly school shooting

Investigator, Jessie Prado, did not answer direct questions from victims’ families

UVALDE, Texas – Survivors and victims’ families of the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde are reeling from the Thursday release of an investigative report on the city’s police department actions during the shooting.

The independent report, completed by Austin-area investigator Jesse Prado, was announced in July 2022, but the nearly two-year-long investigation found all officers responding to the shooting should be exonerated of wrongdoing for their actions.

“Had Lt. (Mariano) Pargas remained with the Uvalde Police Department, it would be my recommendation, my team’s recommendation, to exonerate Lt. Pargas,” Prado said Thursday during a special Uvalde city council meeting.

In total, 15 officers are listed in Prado’s independent review of the Robb Elementary shooting.

Prado recommended all of them be exonerated of any violation of policy.

Instead, Prado said the chaos outside the school with families trying to get their children from the school contributed to the failures that day.

“The ones that were trying to get set up with the command post were having issues with the crowd control because they had to make sure that nobody else in the crowd was injured,” Prado said.

Soon after Prado’s deposition-style question-and-answer with the city attorney finished, Prado left the room without hearing from the victims’ families.

“I don’t want to hear an explanation. I want him back,” Kimberly Mata-Rubio, mother of Lexi, said. “I don’t want to hear an explanation. I want him back.”

When Prado heard from them, he had nothing to say.

Several council members spoke out about the report, saying it was an embarrassment and apologized to the victims’ families.

“I can assure you, this is not what we wanted,” Uvalde city council member Chip King said. “This did not happen how I thought it would happen. I’m usually a pretty good talker, and I’m very, very upset.”

Families met with several city officials who said the report would be discussed at Tuesday’s scheduled council meeting.

At that meeting, some disciplinary action could be taken against Uvalde police officers.

About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

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