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Beto O’Rourke calls for the firing of DPS Director Steven McCraw for Uvalde shooting response

Beto O'Rourke greets supporters at Round Rock on October 26, 2022.
Sergio Martínez-Beltrán
Beto O'Rourke greets supporters in Round Rock on Wednesday.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke on Wednesday called for the firing of Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Talking to reporters after a rally in Round Rock, O’Rourke said Gov. Greg Abbott had the power to do so.

“He should,” O’Rourke said. “This is one of those issues more than any other that’s on the ballot right now.”

This is the first time the Democrat has said McCraw should be fired.

Neither Abbott’s office nor the Texas Department of Public Safety immediately returned a request for comment.

McCraw has been criticized for the poor response from his department to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last May.

More than 300 law enforcement officers from 23 agencies responded to the shooting. DPS was the agency with the second most agents on scene, with 91 officers.

The law enforcement agents waited more than 70 minutes to breach the classroom and kill the 18-year-old gunman.

McCraw initially placed all the blame on former Uvalde Schools Chief of Police Pete Arredondo. However, new reports show DPS agents were some of the first to respond to the active shooting scene.

One DPS official, Sgt. Juan Maldonado, was fired last week amid a police investigation into the response. Others have been placed on administrative leave.

McCraw told CNN last month he would resign if he thinks "there is any culpability in the Department of Public Safety. Period.”

McCraw is expected to provide an update on the Uvalde investigation to the DPS Public Safety Commission on Thursday morning.

DPS didn’t respond to a question about the content of McCraw’s update.

“McCraw should announce his resignation tomorrow," O’Rourke said.

“He has badly failed the people of Uvalde,” he said. “These families have already lost so much, and all they are asking for are answers, accountability, and justice — and he’s provided none of that for them.”

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán is the former Texas Capitol reporter for The Texas Newsroom.
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