AUSTIN (KXAN) — Juan Maldonado, a former Texas Department of Public Safety sergeant, responded to the school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24.
A gunman killed 19 students and two teachers.
“I can’t emphasize the loss of those families that lost their loved ones,” Maldonado said.
DPS served Maldonado with termination papers in September that said he did not act on scene in a way a trooper with his amount of experience should have.
“I was shocked,” he said. The agency gave him the option to retire in lieu of termination. “That’s not the way I dreamed of my life, or leaving a department that I loved.”
Maldonado said he did not receive direct commands when he got on campus, and that he acted on instinct.
“I was never given a specific role. My role I took upon myself was to save as many kids as I could. Provide medical treatment for the ones that were wounded. I did what my mind told me to do, and I kept myself busy the whole entire time,” he said.
KXAN will have more of his account on Thursday, where Maldonado answers why he did not run into the classroom, what he knew about the shooter while on scene, and his message to officers who witnessed the trauma of the school shooting.