Gun Laws & Legislation

Uvalde Police Chief Resigns After Independent Report Clears Officers Of Wrongdoing In School Shooting Response

(Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

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Uvalde, Texas, Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez resigned Tuesday after an independent report cleared his department of wrongdoing in their heavily criticized response to a May 2022 school shooting at that left 21 people dead.

Rodriguez, who was not in the town the day of the massacre, submitted his resignation — effective April 6 — shortly before the Uvalde City Council was expected to reject the findings of the independent investigation, according to CNN.

The findings of the report by former Austin police detective Jesse Prado exonerated all officers who responded to the incident, including acting chief Lt. Mariano Pargas, concluding that they had acted within the law and “in good faith.” Prado, who largely attributed the ineffective response to “communication issues,” received a largely hostile reaction from victims’ families when he presented his conclusions at a council meeting in early March, according to KSAT 12.

Prado’s report contradicts findings from the Department of Justice and the Texas House of Representatives, both of which identified multiple failings in the police department’s actions, which left teenage gunman, Salvador Ramos, alone and unchallenged in Robb Elementary School for 77 minutes, leading to the death of 19 students and two teachers. (RELATED: Sixth Grader Killed, Five Others Injured In Iowa School Shooting)

Former Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin was among the report’s critics, telling CNN that “I don’t think it gave anybody any answers … We’re no better off than when we started.”

Local District Attorney Christina Mitchell is conducting her own investigation into the shooting, and multiple officers have been subpoenaed to appear in front of a grand jury in a process that could take several months, according to the Austin American-Statesman.