Texas trooper Juan Maldonado fired after Uvalde school shooting – USA TODAY

ed5e0e06 9139 479f af39 b3e3195e83c3 poster


One of the Texas state troopers who responded to the Uvalde school massacre in May has been fired, authorities said.

Sgt. Juan Maldonado was served with termination papers Friday, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement to USA TODAY. The department did not provide any additional details on the grounds for firing or the termination process.

Maldonado is now the first member of the department to be fired amid the fallout over police inaction during the May 24 shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Families of victims and community members have decried law enforcement response to the shooting after it was revealed that police officers, armed with rifles and body armor, waited more than an hour before storming the classroom and killing the gunman. Nearly 400 officers responded to the scene from various agencies, including state police, Uvalde police and U.S. Border Patrol.

LEGAL EXPERTS WEIGH IN: Will calls for police accountability in Uvalde shooting be answered?

Maldonado was one of seven Texas DPS troopers put under internal investigation in September after a report revealed the department had more than 90 officers at the scene.

Maldonado was a 23-year veteran of the agency and a public information officer for the region, according to the Texas Tribune. Body-camera footage showed he arrived outside the school within four minutes of the shooting, the Tribune reported.

TEXAS TOP COP TESTIFIES: Uvalde police response an ‘abject failure’ that ignored lessons from shootings

Steve McCraw, the Department of Public Safety director, has previously called the botched police response to the shooting an “abject failure” that put the lives of officers ahead of the children who pleaded for help from their classrooms.

“The officers had weapons, the children had none. The officers had body armor, the children had none. The officers had training, the subject had none,” McCraw testified at a June hearing in front of a state Senate committee.

McCraw placed much of the blame on former Uvalde school police Chief Pete Arredondo, who was fired in August.

Maldonado could not be reached for comment Friday night, the Associated Press reported.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at cfernando@usatoday.com or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.