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Uvalde sheriff says he will testify to Texas House committee about Robb shooting response

Legislators sent a letter to Sheriff Ruben Nolasco Wednesday afternoon, claiming he had refused to cooperate.

SAN ANTONIO — A day after the committee of Texas legislators investigating the Robb Elementary mass shooting sent a letter to Uvalde County's sheriff in an attempt to compel his testimony, he now tells KENS 5 he plans to participate via Zoom at the committee's next hearing on Monday. 

At the same time, Sheriff Ruben Nolasco commented on the Texas House committee's claims that he has refused to participate up to this point. 

"I believed it was untimely to participate in the Texas House investigative committee's critical incident review," a statement provided on Thursday reads, with Nolasco going on to say he sought to "avoid damaging the integrity of the case."

The sheriff adds that his office has "cooperated to the fullest extent" with separate criminal investigations being conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety and the FBI, saying he will do the same with legislative review "to the extent they do not jeopardize the criminal investigation."

Credit: KENS

The state House committee has interviewed more than 20 people, including officers who were on the scene, behind closed doors for several weeks.

It follows testimony last month in which Col. Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, told the state Senate that the police response was an “abject failure.” He pinned particular blame on Chief Pete Arredondo, saying that as on-scene commander the Uvalde schools police chief made “terrible decisions” and stopped officers from confronting the gunman earlier.

Arredondo has tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he didn’t consider himself the commander in charge of operations and that he assumed someone else had taken control of the law enforcement response. He said he didn’t have his police and campus radios but that he used his cellphone to call for tactical gear, a sniper and the classroom keys.

The demands for answers about what happened at Robb Elementary on May 24 grew Wednesday upon the release of a damning new report which concluded law enforcement missed several opportunities to stop the gunman and potentially save lives. 

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