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Texas law enforcement who responded to Uvalde school shooting ordered to testify before a grand jury: reports

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Multiple law enforcement officers have been ordered to appear before a grand jury investigating nearly two years following the deadly Uvalde school shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead as heavily armed agents hesitated to confront the lone gunman.

According to the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV, subpoenas for an in-person hearing have been issued, and a hearing is set to begin at the Uvalde County Courthouse next week.

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Officers from multiple agencies, including the Texas Department of Public Safety, are expected to be called in front of the 12-member panel during what could be a months-long process, the local outlets said.

If found guilty, the hearing could result in criminal charges against officers for failing to urgently stop the gunman in the May 2022 school massacre.

UVALDE SCHOOL SHOOTING: ONE YEAR LATER

A law enforcement personnel lights a candle outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, May 25, 2022.  (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong / File)

The victims of the Uvalde shooting

Pictures of victims of a school mass shooting at the former Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2023. (Wu Xiaoling / Xinhua via Getty Images / File)

The grand jurors are also expected to consider the trove of evidence that can offer a minute-by-minute look at what happened on that Tuesday afternoon. 

The American-Statesman and KVUE-TV, citing three unidentified sources, confirmed the delivery of the subpoenas, but declined to provide an exact number or to identify who received them.

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UVALDE SHOOTING REPORT FINDS ‘CULTURE OF NONCOMPLIANCE’ AMONG STAFF, ‘TACITLY CONDONED’ BY ADMINISTRATORS

Police previously said that, in total, 376 law enforcement officers descended upon the school after reports of an active shooter.

Children run to safety during a mass shooting

Children run to safety after escaping from a window during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, where a gunman killed 19 children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2022.  (Pete Luna / Uvalde Leader-News / Handout via Reuters / File)

The issuance of subpoenas to some of the law enforcement officers involved marks an acceleration in the 21-month investigation into the police response that the Department of Justice called a series of “cascading failures” in law enforcement’s handling of the massacre.

“Had law enforcement agencies followed generally accepted practices in active shooter situations and gone right after the shooter and stopped him, lives would have been saved and people would have survived,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a Jan. 2024 press conference.

A report by the Texas House of Representatives investigative committee contributed law enforcement’s response to “system failures and egregious poor decision-making.”  

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TEXAS OFFICIALS: UVALDE SHOOTING REPORT REVEALS ‘MULTIPLE SYSTEMIC FAILURES’

Reports said that hundreds of law enforcement officers waited 70 minutes on site, before a team breached the fourth grade classroom and confronted the 18-year-old gunman, who had been armed with an AR-15 style rifle and fired more than 140 rounds inside the school.

Since the shooting, body camera video, school surveillance footage and witness accounts have shed light on law enforcement’s belated response.

A woman cries before a memorial

A woman cries as she visits a memorial for a victim of a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas, May 26, 2022. (Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images / File)

Students with their backpacks walk into school, passing a police officer in uniform

Students arrive at Uvalde Elementary, now protected by a fence and Texas State Troopers, for the first day of school, Sept. 6, 2022, in Uvalde.  (AP Photo / Eric Gay / File)

Since the shooting, five officers in Texas have been fired or resigned.

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Uvalde’s school police chief at the time of the attack was fired in August 2022 and the city’s acting police chief shortly after resigned.

The Texas Attorney General’s office and the Texas Department of Public Safety did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

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Southwest

Texas shelter dog becomes impressive police K-9 as he combats fentanyl crisis

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A shelter dog has found a new mission in life as a drug-sniffing police K-9 — a transformation that took place just months after the pup was rescued from the streets of Fort Worth, Texas.

“If you talk to me in five years, I guarantee you we’re going to have kilos of records to reflect his service to the city,” Sgt. Charles Hubbard of the Fort Worth Police Department told Fox News Digital.

Rock, a long and dark-coated German shepherd mix, is part of narcotics detection operations that have taken hundreds of thousands of pills off the streets — making him a vital tool in combating today’s fentanyl crisis.

PENNSYLVANIA K-9 WHO HELPED CATCH CONVICTED MURDERER RETIRES AFTER EIGHT YEARS OF SERVICE: ‘HE LOVED TO WORK’

“I’m talking 20,000, 100,000, 500,000 pills off the street before they ever get out into our community,” Hubbard said of the role narcotics detection K-9s play in law enforcement.

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Last summer, then-six-month-old Rock was found wandering around the city with his sister. 

Rock is photographed shortly after arriving at the Fort Worth Animal Control’s Chuck & Brenda Silcox Animal Care & Adoption Center in Fort Worth, Texas. (Sgt. Charles Hubbard, Fort Worth Police Department)

The dogs were brought to the Fort Worth Animal Control’s Chuck & Brenda Silcox Animal Care & Adoption Center, where shelter superintendent Anastasia Ramsey recognized that the two pups were special.

“We took them out in the yard, and we did some tennis ball exercises where we tossed the ball to see if they had any interest,” Ramsey said — adding that she and her team tossed the dogs treats to see if they were able to “learn things quickly.”

MICHIGAN K-9’S MUGSHOT GOES VIRAL AFTER POLICE ACCUSE PUP OF STEALING OFFICER’S LUNCH

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“Rock passed with flying colors,” she said. 

“He just blew everything out of the water.”

Sgt C. Hubbard and Officer K. Thompson, the Ft. Worth PD's K9 team trainer

Sgt. Charles Hubbard, left, is shown beside Officer Kristopher Thompson, right, who is the Fort Worth Police Department’s K-9 team trainer. (Sgt. Charles Hubbard, Fort Worth Police Department)

Ramsey’s own husband is a K-9 police officer with the Dallas Police Department, so she said she’s aware of what law enforcement is looking for in a K-9 dog.

She recorded videos of Rock and his sister — and the team from Fort Worth Police Department then took the pair for a two-week trial.

“Anastasia [Ramsey] has got a good eye,” Hubbard said. 

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AFTER CAMPUS SHOOTING AT MICHIGAN STATE, K-9 BRINGS COMFORT TO TRAUMATIZED STUDENTS

“She knows the traits that we’re looking for … We trusted what she was evaluating out there and everything that she believed proved true because both Rock and his sister completed narcotics training,” Hubbard said.

narcotics dog with officer

Rock was only six months old when he was rescued from the streets in Fort Worth. He was then brought into the Fort Worth Police Department. (Sgt. Charles Hubbard, Fort Worth Police Department)

The officers decided that with Rock’s high energy and high prey-and-hunt drive, the pup would definitely be a fit and would excel. 

“You want a dog that’s going to want to go to work every day,” Hubbard said. 

TEXAS K9 IS AWARDED PURPLE HEART AFTER SURVIVING OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING: ‘BRAVERY AND PURPOSE’

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“And I’ll tell you what, every time I get him out of the car, and even when he’s at home off duty — when he comes out of his kennel, he’s sniffing.”

Hubbard said Rock wants to sniff cars, boxes — anything he can get his nose on. 

“We can’t do this job without a K-9 like him. It’s the most effective way for us to combat fentanyl, heroin, meth, cocaine, all of it.”

— Sgt. Charles Hubbard

“That’s the most desired trait — that you don’t have to work your dog up,” Hubbard said. “You’re not always saying, ‘Buddy, let’s go, let’s go.’ You just get him out, and he’s ready to go.”

Rock’s sister, Jade, while just as smart, turned out to have a softer personality. She was placed as a school resource K-9.

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“Rock is super friendly, very fun-loving,” Ramsey said. 

dog with oats on his nose

Rock is a ball full of energy and loves going to work every day, always ready to sniff anything and everything. (Sgt. Charles Hubbard, Fort Worth Police Department)

“He seems to enjoy working. He has a lot of energy. And so, pairing those types of dogs with someone who can give them something to do, like a police department, is instrumental in making sure that we set those dogs up for success,” she said.

Rock continued to show his skills. He soon went to work with Hubbard as his handler in a specialized segment of narcotics called K-9 interdiction. 

WASHINGTON POLICE DOG RETIRING AFTER NABBING 166 SUSPECTS DURING NEARLY 10 YEARS OF SERVICE

Dogs in this unit do not apprehend suspects, but work strictly as sniffers to find drugs and contraband.

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“In the particular unit we are in, we are task force officers with Homeland Security,” Hubbard said. 

narcotics dog outside

Sgt. Charles Hubbard has a feeling that in five years, Rock will have collected kilos of drugs to his name — all for the safety of the city. (Sgt. Charles Hubbard, Fort Worth Police Department)

“So we’re federal agents under Customs and Border Patrol,” Hubbard added. 

“Besides the southern border, international shipments are where both the base opioids are coming through as well as the finished pills.”

Hubbard and Rock can be found on duty at any distribution facility — such as UPS, FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service — checking out bulk shipments.

SHELTER DOG TURNED K-9 HERO INSPIRES NETFLIX MOVIE

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“If [we] don’t work the bulk side and have a K-9 that can tell you, ‘Hey, there’s 100,000 pills in this box,’ we’re just never going to know,” Hubbard said. 

“And once that hits the street and starts getting dispersed, you’re going to have mass overdoses, and then you’re behind the eight ball — you can’t catch up. So, plainly, we can’t do this job without a K-9 like him. It’s the most effective way for us to combat fentanyl, heroin, meth, cocaine, all of it.”

Rock and Sgt. Charles Hubbard

Sgt. Charles Hubbard takes Rock home to his family and to his two other dogs who were once police K-9s. (Sgt. Charles Hubbard, Fort Worth Police Department)

Rock also has discovered fentanyl in the field on traffic stops, had cocaine alerts in storage facilities and made multiple marijuana finds, Hubbard said.

At the end of a hard day’s work, Hubbard takes Rock home to his family and to his other two dogs, one of whom is a retired police K-9.

“All of our dogs go home with us,” Hubbard said. 

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“We spend more time with our K-9s than we do with our family because we’re at home with them all the time on the weekends, and then they go to work with us,” he said.

“Three of our six K-9s are shelter rescues now.”

— Sgt. Charles Hubbard

Hubbard said he hopes Rock’s story inspires other police departments to give their local shelters a look when trying to identify a K-9.

“Three of our six K-9s are shelter rescues now,” Hubbard. 

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“I don’t know that you’ll find another unit [in which] half of their K-9 makeup are rescues.”

Ramsey said she sees it as a win-win situation.

Rock the narcotics dog split

Three of the six police K-9s at the Fort Worth Police Department are shelter dogs — proving that shelter dogs are capable of assisting in important police business, said Hubbard. (Sgt. Charles Hubbard, Fort Worth Police Department)

“It’s a double positive,” she said. 

“[It’s] for the dogs and the image of shelter pets. Maybe for someone who thinks, ‘Oh, shelter dogs — they’re not what I’m looking for. I want something that can do X, Y and Z’ — well, shelter dogs, in most cases, can do that, too.”

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Los Angeles, Ca

Family, deputies seeking public assistance to locate 14-year-old who went missing in Southern California

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Family, deputies seeking public assistance to locate 14-year-old who went missing in Southern California

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is seeking public help to locate a critically missing teen.

Authorities say 14-year-old Valeria Ibanez is 5 foot tall, weighs approximately 115 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a gray shirt, with gray pants and white shoes.

Ibanez hasn’t been heard from since around 7:23 p.m. Saturday. She was last seen in the 5200 block of Elizabeth Street in Cudahy.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is asking for public assistance to help locate missing 14-year-old Valeria Ibanez. She was last seen in Cudahy on Saturday, April 20.

Family members say Ibanez has no history of running away and they’re extremely concerned for her well-being.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s East La Station (323) 264-4151.  

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If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org 
 

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Southwest

Judge shoots down Texas AG Paxton's attempt to block guaranteed income program

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A Houston district judge on Thursday shot down Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s attempt to block a guaranteed income program.

In Harris County’s 165th Civil Court, Judge Ursula Hall struck down Paxton’s arguments that the Uplift Harris program, which distributes monthly stipends to more than 1,900 low-income residents, is unconstitutional.

“If the program does include a public benefit, it does not violate the constitution,” Judge Hall said, per Houston Landing.

The attorney general’s lawyers had tried to argue that taxpayer money must be used in the public interest for a general benefit, asking, “If someone lost it (their stipend) gambling in Vegas, what’s the benefit to Harris County?” 

“What if the community member got great joy out of traveling, wouldn’t that be a benefit?” Hall replied. “Or what if they won big in Vegas, brought that money back to Harris County and spent it? Wouldn’t it benefit the county then?”

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

TEXAS SCHOOLS WARNED OF FINANCIAL PENALTIES IF THEY SKIRT DEI BAN: ‘STRONGEST BILL IN THE NATION’

The Uplift Harris program passed by a vote of 4-1 in Harris County Commissioners Court last year. Uplift Harris is a guaranteed income pilot that would allow participating households to receive $500 per month for 18 months. The program began on January 12, 2024, and is available to 1,924 applicants. 

Paxton’s lawsuit sought an “immediate ruling to block Uplift Harris from beginning to make payments under the program.”

Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee who is the defendant in the case, said that he expects Paxton to appeal directly to the Texas Supreme Court.

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“Given what we’ve seen from that court and Republican politics, I am skeptical that we will get a fair shake. But I plan to do everything I can to protect this program,” Menefee said in a statement.

“Today’s decision is a big win for Harris County residents. Families in Harris County are being attacked by Republican state officials. Plain and simple. It’s shameful. Thankfully, today a court backed Harris County and refused to block Uplift Harris,” Menefee said. 

“Helping families in need is a proper use of government funds. Giving people the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty is both morally sound and good public policy. It’s ridiculous that politicians in Austin would be traveling to Harris County just to block us from helping people,” he added.

Texas showdown in court

A Harris County attorney defended a guaranteed income program that’s been targeted in a lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday.  (Harris County attorney general’s office/Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

TEXAS COLLEGE STUDENTS BLAST SCHOOL FOR COMPLYING WITH LAW TO REMOVE DEI: ‘POLITICAL CONFORMITY’

The program received over 59,000 applications, a local FOX affiliate reported in January. The applicants were selected “randomly” through a lottery process, according to the county website.

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County officials will fund the program with the $20.5 million received through the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act, which was intended to be used for COVID-19 relief initiatives. 

But those who receive the funds will receive them with “no strings attached,” according to Paxton.

“This scheme is plainly unconstitutional,” Paxton said in a press release. “Taxpayer money must be spent lawfully and used to advance the public interest, not merely redistributed with no accountability or reasonable expectation of a general benefit. I am suing to stop officials in Harris County from abusing public funds for political gain.”

Fox News Digital previously interviewed Republican State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, who sent a letter to Paxton about “Uplift Harris,” leveling similar claims.

Sen. Paul Bettencourt

A Texas state lawmaker believes that a universal income program pushed on the county level is unconstitutional. (Fox News Digital)

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Austin, Texas, recently launched a guaranteed income program to address housing insecurity in the city. Other cities throughout the U.S. are considering similar programs.

Fox News’ Greg Wehner contributed to this report.



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