Uvalde school shooting: Texas state trooper who was among the first to respond to school massacre has been fired, official says



Sgt. Juan Maldonado, a Texas state trooper who was among the first to respond to the Uvalde mass school shooting in May, has been fired from the state Department of Public Safety, spokesperson Ericka Miller told CNN on Friday.

The department did not disclose the grounds for termination. CNN has requested additional details from the department regarding their termination process, including timeframe and potential appeal process. CNN has reached out to Maldonado for comment.

In early August, CNN was the first to report Maldonado was seen on body camera video arriving just 4 minutes and 51 seconds after a gunman began to fire inside two adjoining classrooms at Robb Elementary, killing 19 children and two teachers.

A total of 376 law enforcement officers arrived on scene, yet it took 77 minutes from the onset of the attack before the gunman was shot and killed by authorities, according to a Texas House investigative committee. Some 91 Department of Public Safety officers were among those on scene.

An internal review of every DPS officer at Robb Elementary was announced by Director Col. Steven McCraw in August. Seven officers were subsequently referred to the inspector general for further investigation. Their names were not publicly released.

CNN identified one of the individuals being investigated as Capt. Joel Betancourt, who issued an order to delay the breach of the classrooms even as a Border Patrol Tactical Unit was entering and stopping the gunman. As of Thursday, he remained on active duty. DPS declined to comment on Betancourt when asked by CNN Friday.

Another of the DPS officers under scrutiny was Crimson Elizondo, who left the department and was later hired as a police officer for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District. She was fired from that position after a CNN report into what she did and said at Robb Elementary on the day of the massacre.

McCraw told CNN in September no officer would get a pass, and he would also take responsibility if needed.

“I’ll be the first to resign, I’ll gladly resign, I’ll tender my resignation to the governor if I think there is any culpability in the Department of Public Safety. Period,” he said.

CNN is in a coalition of news organizations suing the DPS for records relating to the investigations that have been withheld from the media and public.

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