88th LegislatureIssuesJudicialCity of Uvalde Sues District Attorney Over Materials Related to Robb Elementary Shooting Investigation

Elected officials have also criticized Christina Mitchell Busbee for her handling of benefits for those impacted by the May 24 massacre.
December 7, 2022
The City of Uvalde filed a lawsuit against District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee accusing her of withholding information from the city as it investigates the deadly massacre at Robb Elementary School earlier this year.

In a news release last week, city officials said “the Uvalde community has waited entirely too long for answers and transparency” pertaining to the May 24 shooting, which killed 19 schoolchildren and two teachers.

“Despite the City of Uvalde’s efforts to amicably obtain the necessary investigative materials for its ongoing Uvalde Police Department’s Internal Affairs investigation, the District Attorney has blocked the City’s ability to obtain critical information to assess its officers’ actions and compliance with police department policies and expectations,” the news release stated.

The City of Uvalde is seeking a court order compelling Busbee to produce “all relevant law enforcement investigation records and materials” that would assist the city’s investigation. The city alleged that its own inquiry is “significantly restricted” because needed documentation “has not been made available” by Busbee.

The Texas Legislature published a report in July describing “egregiously poor decision making” by police on the day of the shooting. Hundreds of officers from various agencies waited for 77 minutes before a tactical team of border guards confronted and killed the 18-year-old perpetrator. The law enforcement response is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

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In August, the Uvalde school board fired Pete Arredondo, the chief of police for the school district’s small police department. Arredondo faced scrutiny for his actions on May 24 and his subsequent reluctance to be more transparent about the investigation. The school district placed all its police officers on suspension in October.

Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) sued the Texas Department of Public Safety in June, seeking documents that would shed light on the response to the shooting by law enforcement. A state district judge in Travis County denied his motion on the ground that he did not file it properly.

“It’s time for #Uvalde DA Christina Mitchell Busbee to STOP COVERING UP for DPS’ FAILURES on May 24. Parents and the public deserve the full truth,” Gutierrez wrote on social media after the City of Uvalde announced its suit.

Gutierrez and Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin also accused Busbee of mismanaging financial assistance set up for relatives of the victims and others affected by the murders.

The senator announced in early November that he would propose legislation to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to those impacted. Gutierrez later filed Senate Bill 146 to create the Uvalde Victims’ Compensation Fund.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."