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Transcript: Ronald Garza on "Face the Nation," May 29, 2022

Uvalde county commissioner calls for "healing"
Uvalde county commissioner says community needs answers but needs to focus on "healing" now 05:20

The following is a transcript of an interview with Uvalde County Commissioner Ronald Garza. The full interview transcript can be found below.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We turn now to Uvalde County Commissioner Ronald Garza. Good morning to you, sir. And I know we are all so sorry.


MARGARET BRENNAN: We are all so sorry for what your community is going through, not just with this awful massacre, but now these painful revelations about the response. Do you know why the school district police commander was not there when the shooting began?

COMMISSIONER RONALD GARZA: I have no idea, Margaret. I'm like a lot of people, we're still in the dark about that. We're still learning of new developments that are coming to light. But, you know, my heart goes out to the community we're emotionally shattered. And, you know, we're- we're just really sad right now. It's a time of mourning and- in our community.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I know. I've read that it's also a time of anger, and that the chief of police for the school district is now under police protection himself. Is that- Is that right? Is that reflective of the feeling in the community right now?

COMMISSIONER RONALD GARZA: Well, you know, rightly so. You know, people are- are asking questions. Parents lost children. They're devastated. And it's- it's- it's just a sad situation. And I think the community deserves answers.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I just want to clarify, I said the police commander, the police officer assigned to the school from the Independent School District was not on site during the shooting. Do you know why?

COMMISSIONER RONALD GARZA: I do know that we have multiple campuses here, Margaret. It's- It's- perhaps he was at another campus when when the shooting started. But no, I, you know- he- he could have been at another campus.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I asked you that because, you know, what's happened in your community has led to conversations in communities around the country about whether there needs to be more security at schools. Some lawmakers here in Washington are calling for more resources to do that. But in your district, you have an entire police unit that's dedicated to the school district. What was the problem a lack of security?

COMMISSIONER RONALD GARZA: You know, perhaps/ Perhaps it was a lack of security, training. You know, I think there's multiple factors that might be involved here. But you know, right now, it's easy- It's easy to point fingers right now. It's easy to play the blame game. But, you know, our community I think needs to focus on- on the- on the- on healing right now. And, yes, we do welcome the investigation. I understand Congressman Joaquin Castro is asking the FBI to intervene. And we- I welcome that- that investigation, I think we need to learn more. As tragic as this may seem, we need to learn from this, you know, and parents deserve answers.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you have any indication as to the motive of the shooter? I know, you know, this community and I've read you knew his family.

COMMISSIONER RONALD GARZA: Yes, I have no indication as to- as to why or what the motive was. The family of the shooter is a good family. You know, I've said this before on other networks, they are a family of faith. They value church, they value hard work, known them for many years- great grandparents, grandparents, uncles, aunts. And, you know, this should not be a reflection on them. You know, we raise our children, and we try to raise them in the right way. But- but sometimes our children have different thoughts, have different attitudes, personalities, but we do the best we can.

MARGARET BRENNAN: In Sandy Hook, the shooter's home and the school itself were destroyed. Is that what's going to happen in Uvalde?

COMMISSIONER RONALD GARZA: You know, I'm not sure I have- I have mixed emotions about you know, destroying the school. You know, many people, students, you know, that I know of- I went through that school, my teacher taught my- I'm sorry, my dad taught there. That was his second teaching assignment. My grandkids went through there and my kids went through there- those pecan trees that are out there at Robb school,  my dad planted them in 1965. Every day after school, he and a few students would water those pecan trees so we- we- we have very strong ties to the school and and you know, my is I hope it's not- the school is not raised. Yes, do we need a memorial out there maybe? Do we need to section off the area where the shooting took place? Perhaps. But you know that- and again, that's just my opinion. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right, Commissioner, thank you for your time this morning.

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