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Uvalde families remain frustrated following DOJ report, "We want somebody charged"

"We still don't have answers," families of Uvalde massacre frustrated
"We still don't have answers," families of Uvalde massacre frustrated 03:14

UVALDE - Frustration. Lack of transparency. These are two ongoing sentiments expressed by family members of the victims of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting, which killed 19 children and two teachers on May 24, 2022.

CBS News Texas spoke to families following the release of a 600-page federal report investigating the police response to the massacre. It found multiple failures by officers that allowed the attack to continue even as police were at the school. 

Most families expected the Department of Justice would prove the response was a failure. Their frustration comes in that they want people held accountable and most don't have any confidence that will actually happen.

Rojelio Fernandez Torres was killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24, 2022. He was 10-years-old.  courtesy Evadulia Orta

Conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing, the report was based on thousands of pieces of data. Documentation in it relied on more than 260 interviews, including with law enforcement and school personnel, family members of victims, and witnesses and survivors from the shooting. 

One of those family members, Eva Dulia Orta, lost her 10-year-old son Rogelio Torres that day.

"It's hard for us, but getting this concrete on paper telling us what we thought happened is what happened to our kids," shared Orta. "They didn't go in when they had to go in… It's hard knowing the officers didn't do what they had to do to protect our kids and the teachers."

Findings from the report also back up the claim that victims' families, as well as the community as whole received bad information (if any at all) and very little trauma support after the massacre. 

While the report didn't recommend blame or charges for specific individuals, it didn't stop victims' family members from demanding the next step -- going after those responsible. 

"Yes we want somebody charged with this crime. The officers who didn't go in... Nobody went into protect our kids or save those people that could have survived," said Orta. 

Brett Cross lost his son Uziyah Garcia in the shooting. When asked if he wants people to start getting charged for the failures he said yes and added, "Oh absolutely, and it's not just now. They need to be. Mariano Pargas who is a county commissioner was the acting chief of police that day. He had the information that there were children still trapped in there with the shooter and he did absolutely nothing"

Felicha Martinez, who lost her son Xavier Lopez echoed the sentiments, and was brought to tears when she spoke about the irony of the proven failures and how her son told her he wanted to be a police officer when he grew up.

"Knowing that was his dream and they are the ones that let him down is very disappointing," she shared. 

The League of United Latin American Citizens expressed its disappointment in the findings of the report, stating only the families will determine if justice is served. 

In a statement, LULAC national president, Domingo Garcia said: "LULAC is disappointed that federal investigators have failed to address the criminal accountability for the tragedy at Robb Elementary. Nineteen children and two teachers died, mostly Latino, and not one person is facing criminal charges yet. How can that be when this report affirms much of what we have known for the past 20 months." 

Garcia continued, "Law enforcement failed to act quickly and decisively and to do its job of protecting the community. Instead, we are left with more questions about when or whether even one person will ever face the consequences for criminal negligence or dereliction of their sworn duty."

President Joe Biden also weighed in, stating "No community should ever have to go through what Uvalde families suffered when 21 students and educators were killed at Robb Elementary School."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also released a statement on Jan. 18, saying the state has already started adopting some of the recommendations from the report to train officers for similar scenarios.

"Just more fire for my fight because now we have it laid out in black and white -- a lot of these failures. Now with the DOJ stamp it's going to be harder for people to refuse to listen," said Cross. 

The city of Uvalde released a statement on Thursday saying their own internal investigation and report into the response is almost complete and that will be released within a months time.

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