Uvalde school shooting: Texas state trooper who was among first responders to school shooting fired, official says



CNN

Sgt. Juan Maldonado, the Texas state trooper who was one of the first to respond to the mass shooting at the Uvalde school in May, has been fired from the state Department of Public Safety, spokeswoman Ericka Miller told CNN on Friday.

The department did not disclose the reasons for the termination. CNN has asked the department for more details on its termination process, including the time frame and potential appeals process. CNN has reached out to Maldonado for comment.

In early August, CNN was the first to report that Maldonado was seen on body camera video, arriving 4 minutes and 51 seconds after a gunman opened fire in two classrooms near Robb Elementary, killing 19 children and two teachers.

A total of 376 police officers attended the scene, but it took 77 minutes from the start of the attack before authorities shot him dead, according to the Texas House investigative committee. About 91 officers from the Department of Public Safety were on the scene.

An internal review of every DPS officer at Robb Elementary was announced by Principal Steven McCraw in August. Seven constables were later sent to the Inspector General for further investigation. Their names were not released publicly.

CNN identified one person being investigated as Capt. Joel Betancourt, who ordered a delay in breaking into the classrooms, even as a Border Patrol Tactical Unit moved in and stopped the gunman. As of Thursday, he remained active. DPS declined to comment on Betancourt when asked by CNN Friday.

Another DPS officer under investigation was Crimson Elizondo, who left the department and was later hired as a police officer in the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. He was fired from that position after CNN reported what he did and said at Robb Elementary on the day of the massacre.

McCraw told CNN in September that he would not get a pass if the officer did not, and that he would take responsibility if necessary.

“I will be the first to resign, I will be happy to resign, I will submit my resignation to the governor if I believe there is any culpability in the Department of Public Safety. Period,” he said.

CNN is among a coalition of news organizations suing the DPS over investigative records that were withheld from the media and the public.