A Texas police officer has been fired after the Uvalde school mass shooting, becoming the first to lose his job in the fallout over the hesitant response to the massacre.
- Sergeant Juan Maldonado has been fired after the shooting at Robb Elementary School in May
- State troopers were among the first wave of officers to arrive, but did not immediately confront the gunman
- Seven troopers have been under investigation
Sergeant Juan Maldonado was served with termination papers on Friday, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) spokeswoman Ericka Miller said.
The firing comes five months after the shooting at Robb Elementary School that has put state police under scrutiny over their actions on the campus as a gunman with an AR-15-style rifle killed 19 children and two teachers.
Body camera footage and media reports have shown that DPS had a larger role at the scene than the department appeared to suggest after the May 24 shooting.
State troopers were among the first wave of officers to arrive, but did not immediately confront the gunman, which experts say goes against standard police procedure during mass shootings.
Instead, more than 70 minutes passed before officers finally stormed inside a fourth-grade classroom and killed the gunman, ending one of the deadliest school attacks in US history.
Nearly 400 officers eventually made their way to the scene, including state police, Uvalde police, school officers and US Border Patrol agents.
Mr Maldonado was contacted for comment but could not be reached.
Seven DPS troopers were put under internal investigation after a damning report revealed that state police had more the 90 officers at the scene, the most of any agency.
DPS director Steve McCraw called the response by law enforcement an “abject failure” but put most of the blame on former Uvalde school police chief Pete Arredondo, who was fired in August.
The Uvalde mayor, parents of the victims and some politicians have accused DPS of trying to minimise its own failures.
State senator Roland Gutierrez said accountability in the department should continue.
“Ninety more to go, plus the DPS director,” he said.
Senator Gutierrez has sued DPS in an effort to obtain documents surrounding the response to the shooting.
Several media outlets have also asked courts to compel authorities and Uvalde officials to release records under public information laws.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who is up for re-election in November, has stood by Mr McCraw and said there needed to be “accountability for law enforcement at every level.”
One of the DPS troopers put under internal investigation was Crimson Elizondo, who resigned and later was hired by Uvalde schools to work as a campus police officer.
She was fired less than 24 hours after outraged parents in Uvalde found out about her hiring.