The handwritten notes of Texas Governor Greg Abbott in the immediate aftermath of the Uvalde school massacre in May indicate that he was indeed misled by police authorities as to the timeline of events and the lack of action on the part of law enforcement.
Abbott’s notes, released to ABC 13 in Houston, were used by the governor in preparation for his first press conference after the mass shooting. The governor initially told the press and public that officers immediately engaged the shooter upon their arrival at Robb Elementary School, a claim that was found to be false shortly thereafter.
Bullet points in his notes from that day say “ISD approached gunman + engaged” and “Border Patrol, ISD officers, Police, Sheriffs + DPS converged on classroom,” the outlet reported.
“I was misled. I am livid about what happened,” Abbott said on May 27. He continued, “I was on this very stage two days ago and I was telling the public information that had been told to me in a room just a few yards behind where we’re located right now.”
These are the handwritten notes, complete with the incorrect information, that were given to Texas Governor Greg Abbott by Texas Police after the Uvalde shooting. Abbott used these notes to give false information during his first ill-fated press briefing on the shooting. pic.twitter.com/18AifllGbL
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) June 14, 2022
“I wrote down hand notes in detail about what everybody in that room told me in sequential order about what happened and when I came out here on this stage and told the public what happened, it was a recitation of what people in that room told me, whether it be law enforcement officials or non-law enforcement officials, whatever the case may be and as everybody has learned, the information that I was given turned out, in part, to be inaccurate and I’m absolutely livid about that,” Abbott said.
Additionally, the notes indicate there was no previous intelligence on the shooter having any mental issues, but Abbott was told by the Uvalde Sheriff and Mayor the town had a serious problem with mental health, which the governor then told the press.
Uvalde Independent School District Police chief Peter Arredondo has been embroiled in controversy since it was discovered he told officers to stand down and stay outside of the school building. The killer would stay inside the school for more than an hour before Border Patrol agents took it upon themselves to enter the school and eliminate the shooter.
Arredondo believed the gunman was barricaded inside the school and thus not accessible. He reportedly stopped cooperating with investigators as soon as information surrounding his lack of response to the deadly situation came to light.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said on June 7 that he is not procedurally part of the state’s investigation, but expressed that he had confidence in Texas law enforcement authorities.
“Let me be clear, I have the utmost confidence in the Texas Rangers,” he said.
As for the fate of Arredondo, he would not say.
“I’m not going to speak for Pete Arredondo,” McLaughlin said, ‘He’ll have to speak for himself. I’m not going to go there.’
ABC 13 reached out to the Texas Department of Safety with the hopes of obtaining detailed interviews from the day of the massacre, but the department said it will not release any of that material to the public, claiming that doing so ” would provide criminals with invaluable information concerning Department techniques used to investigate and detect activities of suspected criminal elements; how information is assessed and analyzed; how information is shared among partner law enforcement agencies and the lessons learned from the analysis of prior criminal activities.”
The statement continued, “Knowing the intelligence and response capabilities of Department personnel and where those employees focus their attention will compromise law enforcement purposes by enabling criminals to anticipate weakness in law enforcement procedures and alter their methods of operation in order to avoid detection and apprehension. Consequently, the Department believes the records should also be excepted from required public disclosure.”
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