McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez is suing the Department of Public Safety, demanding more information on the May 24 school shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in District Court in Austin just as a special Senate hearing also is underway in the state’s Capitol in which DPS officials are blaming police for failing to protect the victims in what is the deadliest school shooting in the United States in several decades, and worst ever in a Texas public school.
Gutierrez, a Democrat who represents Uvalde, said he sent on May 31 an open records request to DPS asking for extensive categories of information relating to the May 24 massacre and law enforcement’s response. But, according to the lawsuit, he says he has not received the information nor a notice from DPS that it is seeking an attorney general’s decision on whether or not to release the information.
“The people of Uvalde and Texas have demanded answers from their government. To date, they have been met with lies, misstatements, and shifts of blame. The State of Texas failed these families and those families deserve to know the complete, unalterable truth about what happened that day. This is a suit to demand just that,” the lawsuit says.
Under Texas law, the information must be released or a notice explaining they are seeking clarification from the AG’s office must be sent to the requestor within 10 business days of the original records request.
“In the wake of this massacre, the State of Texas has completely failed to provide the community of Uvalde with truthful answers. Weeks have come and gone, and yet families who lost their children have not been told by their government the basic information about who was on site as their children bled, what tools were at their disposal to stop the gunman, and exactly why they decided to wait instead of act,” Gutierrez said in a statement. “The community of Uvalde deserves answers now, so that we can begin to heal and make sure a massacre like this never happens again.”
Information requested by Gutierrez from DPS Director Steve McCraw includes:
- The ballistics report on the incident.
- Any policy manual or document governing joint operations between DPS and local law enforcement in an active shooter or hostage situation.
- Documents or reports detailing the police and DPS presence at the school in response to the active shooter situation.
- The exact time that each DPS officer, police officer of any city, sheriff’s deputy or federal agent arrived on scene May 24 in Uvalde.
- Who was in operational control at every step of the law enforcement response.
The lawsuit also was filed as lawmakers in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday also are investigating the deaths and holding a special hearing by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform on gun reform.