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Calls are growing for the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety to resign

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

This week marks five months since a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Calls for the top Texas law enforcement official to resign over the botched response are growing. Sergio Martinez-Beltran with The Texas Newsroom reports.

SERGIO MARTINEZ-BELTRAN, BYLINE: Ninety-one Texas Department of Public Safety or DPS officers arrived at the scene in Uvalde last May 24, many within minutes. But they and others waited more than an hour to confront the shooter. Kimberly Mata-Rubio’s 10-year-old daughter Lexi was killed.

KIMBERLY MATA-RUBIO: We're trying to put this puzzle together, and we're getting piece by piece. And it's scattered. It never really makes sense. And it always alters each time another piece of information comes in.

MARTINEZ-BELTRAN: After demanding answers from DPS for months, Rubio and the families of other victims now want its director, Steve McCraw, to go. Brett Cross lost his son Uziyah. He confronted McCraw at a meeting yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRETT CROSS: Well, Steve, the time is now. If you're a man of your word, you'll resign. We're not waiting any longer. Our families, our community, our state has waited long enough.

MARTINEZ-BELTRAN: In response, McCraw said if DPS had failed the families and the community, then he should go.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

STEVE MCCRAW: I can tell you this right now. DPS as an institution did not fail the community, plain and simple.

MARTINEZ-BELTRAN: However, McCraw says his officers should have confronted the shooter within the first 10 minutes. The parents of some victims say that shows DPS did fail. They say McCraw's stance is just another piece of the shifting and contradictory narrative on the police response, something they've sadly gotten used to.

For NPR News, I'm Sergio Martinez-Beltran in Austin. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sergio Martinez-Beltran