A Texas House committee investigating the Uvalde elementary school massacre is signaling that local police have still not committed to speaking with it about the shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers.
Republican state Rep. Dustin Burrows said Friday that his committee was in conversations with the Uvalde Police Department and hoped to announce soon whether members of the force will appear as witnesses. Weeks after one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history, law enforcement officials have stopped providing updates about what they’ve learned about the shooting and the police response.
The House committee has interviewed more than a dozen witnesses behind closed doors as of Friday, including state police, school staff and school district police.
Texas Department of Public Safety officials have blamed school district Police Chief Pete Arredondo for leading the botched response to the massacre. It took more than an hour for officers to confront the gunman.
DPS officials said Arredondo directed officers not to engage the gunman, which goes against active shooter best practices. DPS officials said that Arredondo believed the incident was a barricade situation, not an active shooter, despite 911 calls from students experiencing gunfire.
Arredondo has said he did not have his police radio with him during the shooting and that he was unaware that another agency did not take charge of the response.
The Department of Justice is investigating law enforcement’s handling of the mass shooting.