As the criticism of the police response to last week's Texas school shooting deepens, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin now says that local law enforcement has not misled anyone and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's claims that he was lied to are "not true."
Immediately following the shooting that left 19 children and two adults dead, a slew of Texas officials praised the law enforcement response to the tragedy.
"They showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a press conference in Uvalde alongside Lt. Gov. Patrick on Wednesday, about 24 hours after the shooting.
That praise was quickly recanted later in the week as more details about the police response came to light, including that 19 officers were inside the elementary school for about an hour before a Border Patrol team breached the classroom and killed the suspect.
Lt. Gov. Patrick told Fox News on Saturday that law enforcement's choice not to immediately confront the shooter was a "bad decision, and that decision cost lives," but later corrected himself on Twitter to say that the decision "may have" cost lives.
"No one mentioned the fact that there was this 45 minute-to-an-hour hold by the chief of the police of the school district while there were still shots being fired," Patrick said.
"I take this personally, and I know the governor takes it personally. And for me, it's 140 or 150 people killed in Texas in the last six or seven years of collective anger when we're not told the truth."
Uvalde School District police chief Pete Arredondo was the incident commander on scene who made the "wrong decision" not to immediately confront the suspect because he "believed that it had transitioned from an active shooter to a barricaded subject," Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said.
Uvalde Mayor Dan McLaughlin said Monday that local law enforcement has not misled Patrick or any other officials.
"Statements by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick that he was ‘not told the truth’ are not true," McLaughlin said Monday. "All statements and comments made to date about the ongoing investigation are being handled by DPS/Texas Rangers."
Patrick responded on Monday that his "goal at this time is to support Mayor McLaughlin and the citizens of Uvalde."
"I think the Mayor has done an excellent job at a very difficult time and my focus continues to be on the families," Patrick said Monday.
The mayor said Tuesday that he misunderstood Patrick's statements and thanked the state for their support.
"We appreciate the concern Dan Patrick has for the citizens of Uvalde and local law enforcement," McLaughlin said Tuesday. "I ask everyone to pray for us, the citizens of Uvalde as we grieve, and live through the pain, and the healing process."
The Department of Justice announced Sunday that they are conducting an independent investigation into the police response at the request of the mayor.
"The goal of the review is to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events," the DOJ said in a statement.