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Texas committee still trying to interview Uvalde police – The Journal

A Texas House committee investigating the Uvalde elementary school massacre reports that local police have still not pledged to speak to them about the shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers

UVALDE, Texas (AP) — Uvalde police have still not committed to speaking to a Texas House committee investigating the May 24 massacre at an elementary school and the law enforcement response that day, the lawmaker leading the inquiry said on Friday.

Republican State Rep. Dustin Burrows said his committee is in talks with the Uvalde Police Department and hopes to announce soon whether any members of the force will appear as witnesses.

It came a day after Burrows’ comments raised uncertainty over whether Uvalde police would cooperate, saying on Thursday there was a question whether local officers would “visit us voluntarily” about of the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School in which 19 children and two teachers were killed.

He went even further Thursday night on social media, tweeting, “Most have fully cooperated and want to help get the facts straight for the Uvalde community and all Texans.” Burrows said he couldn’t understand why Uvalde police “wouldn’t want the same.”

The police department did not immediately respond to messages left Friday seeking comment.

Weeks after one of the deadliest school shootings in US history, law enforcement officials stopped providing updates on what they learned about the shooting and the response of the font. Their silence comes after authorities gave conflicting and incorrect accounts in the days after the shooting, sometimes retracting statements hours after they were made.

Authorities have also not released documents sought under public information laws to the media, including The Associated Press, often citing broad exemptions and the ongoing investigation. He raised concerns about whether those records will be released, even to the families of the victims.

On Friday, the State House committee interviewed more than a dozen witnesses behind closed doors, including state police, school personnel and school district police. So far, the list of witnesses provided by the committee did not include Pete Arrendondo, the Uvalde School District Police Chief, who has come under fire for his actions in the attack.

Burrows defended the committee by interviewing witnesses privately and not disclosing their findings so far, saying its members wanted an accurate record before releasing a report.

“One person’s truth may be different from another person’s truth,” Burrows said Friday.

Since the shooting, Republican leaders in Texas have called for more funding for mental health, but not new gun restrictions. Authorities say the 18-year-old shooter used an AR-15 type semi-automatic rifle. Police did not confront the shooter for more than an hour, even though anguished parents outside the school urged officers to enter.

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Find more AP coverage of the Uvalde school shooting: https://apnews.com/hub/uvalde-school-shooting.

A sign with encouraging messages hangs from a Robb Elementary School memorial created to honor the victims killed in the recent school shooting, Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. The Texas elementary school where a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers has long been part of the fabric of small-town Uvalde, a school attended by generations of families, and where the spark came that led Hispanic parents and students band together to fight discrimination more than half a century ago. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)