A Texas Ranger who heard gunshots coming from Uvalde classroom and failed to immediately act is still on paid leave four months after being fired
- Christopher Ryan Kindell was sent a dismissal letter in January over his response to the Uvalde shooting.
- Four months later, he's still on paid leave, according to The Washington Post.
A senior Texas Ranger who was fired over his delayed response to last year's elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, is still on paid leave, four months after officials moved to terminate him, a Washington Post investigation revealed on Wednesday.
The Texas Department of Public Safety sent a letter to Christopher Ryan Kindell on January 5, saying they intended to terminate him for not "conforming to department standards" during the response to the shooting, where 19 children and two teachers were killed.
According to the Post, Kindell arrived at the school 30 minutes after the shooting began, and was one of the most senior officers on the scene when he arrived.
One of the key issues with the law enforcement response to the shooting was the false understanding that the shooter was barricaded alone in a classroom, when in fact there were children and teachers present.
The latter is called an active shooter situation and calls for immediate action to protect the lives of those in danger.
In the dismissal letter, DPS officials said Kindell "took no steps to influence the law enforcement response toward an active shooter posture" and that "constitutes a failure to perform your duty completely."
The Post went into further detail about how Kindell failed to mount an active shooter offensive. About 10 minutes after arriving on the scene, bodycam footage shows Kindell walking around, "within earshot" as a dispatcher announces that a child has called 911 from inside one of the two adjoining classrooms where the shooter had barricaded himself, the Post reported.
Kindell also failed to immediately act when the shooter unleashed his final round of gunfire at 12:21 p.m. Law enforcement didn't storm the classroom where the shooter was present until 12:50 p.m., according to the Post.
According to records obtained by the Post, Kindell is still employed with the Department of Public Safety. The transparency organization Open the Books shows that Kindell made a salary of more than $90,000 in 2022.
A DPS official told The Post that the dismissal letter was a "preliminary decision" and won't be finalized until Kindell has the opportunity to meet with DPS Director Steven McCraw.
Multiple sources told the local news station KXAN last week that Kindell requested a meeting with McCraw over four months ago, but that McCraw has yet to schedule a date.
Insider was unable to reach Kindell for comment on Wednesday, but a source close to the ranger said that the director has twice cancelled on him.
The Texas Department of Public Safety did not immediately return Insider's request for comment on Wednesday.
If and when McCraw finalizes Kindell's termination, he will have the opportunity to appeal the decision to the Public Safety Commission, according to KXAN.
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