© 2024 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Uvalde parents stage sit-in, demand officers involved in failed shooting response be fired

Brett and Nikki Cross, the parents of 10-year-old victim Uziyah Garcia, are pledging to stay outside of the Uvalde Police station until three officers are terminated or suspended.
Kayla Padilla / Texas Public Radio
Brett and Nikki Cross sit outside of the Uvalde Police Department.

UVALDE, TX — Uvalde parents Brett and Nikki Cross have staged a sit-in outside of the Uvalde Police Department until three city police officers involved in the failed response to the Robb Elementary School shooting are fired or suspended.

They lost their 10-year-old son Uziyah in the shooting on May 24, 2022. Nineteen children and two teachers were killed that day when 376 officers from several agencies waited for more than an hour to confront the gunman.

They began the sit-in at 11:33 a.m. Wednesday, representing the time when the first shots were fired by the gunman on the day of the shooting.

Brett Cross said that they want officers Javier Martinez, Louis Landry and Eduardo Canales suspended or fired from their positions.

“Those are the three that were part of the original eleven that sat on their ass [on the day of the shooting],” he said.

The action came a day after Chief of Police Daniel Rodriguez resigned from his position just hours before the Uvalde City Council was expected to comment on a controversial report by investigator Jesse Prado.

Chief Daniel Rodriguez was taking pre-scheduled vacation time in Phoenix during the Robb Elementary School shooting on May 24, 2022.

The report found that police acted in good faith and did not violate protocol on the day of the shooting.

Victims' families voiced their anger with the Uvalde City Council on Tuesday, questioning how a city commissioned report could come to such a conclusion after all of the documented failureson the part of officers that day.

“They had the qualifications, training and the knowledge to know and do better and they just didn't,” Nikki Cross said.

The mayor asked families for more time to review the report following Rodriguez's resignation. In the meantime, Brett and Nikki Cross notified Uvalde police that they had until Tuesday to suspend or fire Martinez, Landry and Canales or they would proceed with the sit-in.

They last participated in a sit-in in 2022, which resulted in the entire Uvalde Independent School District police department getting suspended.

“Last time, I did 10 days, 245 hours. I will stay out here as long as it takes. I shouldn't have to. But I have to be out here [because] they refuse to do what is right,” he explained.

The announcement came after some family members of victims of the shooting at Robb Elementary School protested and even camped out at the district headquarters demanding accountability from the law enforcement agencies that responded to the shooting.

Local Pastor Daniel Myers came to show his support by holding up a sign with 10-year-old Uziyah’s image. He said he believes that the officers will have to answer before God and be held accountable.

“The Bible says, ‘When you've done it to the least of these, you've done it to me.’ And these children, they need a voice. I got a voice,” he added.

The couple said that the Uvalde police have showed up to their house for “wellness checks” and other ambiguous reasons since their outspokenness.

“They do that all the time. They drive in front of our house slow as hell,” Brett Cross said.

He added that since the shooting, his trust in the police has been shattered. He planned to sit and sleep outside of the police department until his demands are met.

TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.