UVALDE, Texas — Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin released a statement Tuesday saying records related to the May 24's shooting at Robb Elementary will not be released.
The statement says the Uvalde District Attorney requested the City of Uvalde not release any evidence related to the law enforcement response until all investigations are done, at which point leaders will evaluate the relevant material.
The mayor's statement comes as heavy scrutiny continues in the aftermath of the May 24 shooting, when an 18-year-old gunman armed with an AR-15 entered Robb Elementary School and killed 19 students and two teachers. Investigators are focusing on what happened in the 77 minutes that passed between when the gunman entered the classroom and when officers stormed the room to take him down.
The mayor's statement also says the city wants to ensure that any information released is complete and thorough and "not a release of piecemeal or incomplete and inaccurate information."
On Monday, KENS 5 sister station KVUE obtained the first surveillance photo the public has seen from the May 24 shooting. On Tuesday, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw spoke at a Texas Senate special legislative committee hearing, saying the Uvalde District Attorney also requested DPS not release anything from the investigation yet. At the hearing, McCraw also condemned law enforcement's response to the shooting, calling it an "abject failure."
In his statement, Mayor McLaughlin says there are "specific legal reasons" that materials from the investigation are being withheld at this time. See the full statement below:
"We understand news organizations have a job to do. For now, we will not be commenting on the investigation or reacting to every story attributed to unnamed sources or sources close to the investigation. The Uvalde District Attorney has requested the City not release any records related to her investigation. The Texas Occupations Code also restricts release of body cam. All questions relating to body cam videos and other Robb Elementary School investigative records should be directed to the Uvalde County District Attorney and the Texas Department of Public Safety/Texas Rangers.
"The premature release of anything related to the May 24 Department of Public Safety (DPS)/Texas Rangers investigation or Critical Incident Review by the Department of Justice is a disservice to families who lost children or parents because the true facts need to come out once all investigations/reviews, which the City expects will be thorough and fair, are complete.
"To date, the DPS and the Uvalde County District Attorney has not provided the City with any information on their investigation. The City wants to ensure completeness of the information provided, not a release of piecemeal or incomplete and inaccurate information. Information that has been released has not come from the City and it is apparent that what has been released is incomplete.
"The City of Uvalde and its Police Department strive for transparency every day and will evaluate release of City records related to this investigation when appropriate. Please be aware that the Law Firm of Denton, Navarro, Rocha, Bernal & Zech, has an attorney client relationship with the City of Uvalde, Texas, including its officials and representatives, and are therefore prohibited under the Texas Rules governing lawyers from providing or sharing any information about the legal representation of the City with members of the public, including members of the news media.
"There is no coverup. Anyone who suggests the City of Uvalde is withholding information without legitimate and legal reasons is wrong and is spreading misinformation. There are specific legal reasons the City cannot release information at this time. For the past month, my number one priority is a transparent and thorough investigation to give our grieving families the answers they deserve. And, to hopefully prevent another community from having to live through a tragedy like this."