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Texas DPS chief Steve McCraw says his agency “did not fail” at Uvalde school shooting

Texas Department of Public safety.JPG
Michael Gonzalez
/
The Texas Tribune
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw speaks at a border security briefing in Weslaco on Jan. 27.

At a public meeting where families that lost children in the school shooting said he should resign, McCraw said members of the Department of Public Safety made mistakes. But he said he’ll only step down “if DPS as an institution failed the families.”

Weeks after Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said he would resign if his troopers had “any culpability” in the botched police response to the Uvalde school shooting, he told families calling for his resignation Thursday that the agency has not failed as an institution.

“If DPS as an institution — as an institution — failed the families, failed the school or failed the community of Uvalde, then absolutely I need to go,” McCraw said during a heated Public Safety Commission meeting. “But I can tell you this right now: DPS as an institution, right now, did not fail the community — plain and simple.”

McCraw made the remark during a frazzled nearly 15 minutes of comments after several families of the 19 children who were killed spoke during the meeting’s public hearing portion. Two teachers were also killed during the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary.

Last week, DPS fired the first trooper in connection to the incident, Sgt. Juan Maldonado, who was one of the first and most-senior troopers to get to the school. The agency revealed in September at least five troopers were under investigation for their conduct that day.

Afterward, McCraw told the commission he wanted any families present to have an opportunity to respond.

Brett Cross, whose 10-year-old nephew Uziyah Garcia was among the children killed, walked to a podium.

“Are you a man of your word?” Cross asked.

“Absolutely,” McCraw said.

“Then resign.”

The meeting took a 15-minute recess about 10:10 a.m.

This is a developing story.