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Less than a week after a Texas House committee released an exhaustive report investigating the May 24 school shooting in Uvalde, state officials published a copy in Spanish.
Officials faced some backlash for not originally publishing the 77-page report in both English and Spanish. Uvalde is a predominantly Latino community about 90 miles west of San Antonio where many residents speak Spanish.
On Wednesday, the Austin American-Statesman published a translated copy — the work of a group of Spanish-speaking journalists — and said it planned to distribute printed copies in Uvalde.
The report by a Texas House committee offered grieving families in Uvalde and the public a more complete narrative of the attack and the fumbling law enforcement response it provoked. Residents’ trust in ongoing investigations had been undermined by several conflicting and retracted accounts provided by other officials, including the governor and state police, in the seven weeks since the tragedy.
The vice-chair of the committee, state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, released a statement on Friday saying the committee worked as fast as possible to publish the report, which was completed only minutes before the printing deadline.
The committee intended to publish the report in both languages, Moody said, but was unable to get it translated before a planned meeting last Sunday when the English version was released.
“We reached out to Uvalde authorities to find out what the Uvalde families wanted — did they prefer we delay the release until both versions were available?,” Moody said. “The resounding answer was that they wanted what we had as quickly as possible and didn’t mind the Spanish translation coming later if they got answers sooner. We honored that request.”
The Spanish-language version of the report released this week was translated by certified professional translators — who reduced their normal timeframe for this kind of translation — and was “approved by the committee as an accurate representation of our original report,” Moody said.
The other committee members include Rep. Dustin Burrows, a Lubbock Republican who serves as chair, and former state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman.
The committee’s report on the deadliest school shooting in Texas history found “systemic failures and egregious poor decision making” by nearly everyone involved who was in a position of power. It offered a damning portrayal of a family unable to recognize warning signs, a school district that had strayed from strict adherence to its safety plan and a police response that disregarded its own active shooter training.
Nearly 400 law enforcement officers descended upon the school in a chaotic, uncoordinated scene that lasted for more than an hour. The group was devoid of clear leadership, basic communications and sufficient urgency to take down the gunman, the report says.
Alexa Ura contributed to this report.
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