In an interview conducted last week Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin disclosed that an unidentified “negotiator” frantically tried to contact the gunman at Robb Elementary the day of the May 24 school shooting that left 19 children and two adults murdered.
McLaughlin told The Washington Post and Telemundo San Antonio that he found himself alongside someone he only referred to as “the negotiator.” He did not offer any more identifying information. The Post described him as “an official” in its published interview.
This negotiator was reportedly deployed across the street from Robb Elementary at the Hillcrest Funeral Home, one of only two in the small town of Uvalde.
“His main goal was to try to get [the shooter] on the phone,” McLaughlin said. “They tried every number they could find.”
The shooter, Salvador Ramos, 18, never picked up the phone.
McLaughlin’s interview did not offer many other new details about the shooting itself but took issue with any insinuation that local police intentionally misrepresented any details about the day of the shooting.
“Local authorities have not lied to anyone,” said McLaughlin.
Without specifically assigning blame, Texas Governor Greg Abbott previously stated that his office was “misled” and provided inaccurate information about what happened that day.
McLaughlin pointed the finger at the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“The briefing that the governor and the lieutenant governor and everybody else in that room [had] … was given by the DPS, not local law enforcement,” McLaughlin said.
“[The DPS] had three press conferences,” he added. “In all three press conferences, something has changed.”
The U.S. Department of Justice and Texas Rangers are investigating the law enforcement response to the Uvalde school shooting.
For his part, Abbott directed the convening of special legislative committees to brainstorm state solutions to school safety and mass violence.