Ulvade Governor Cody Smith Resigns Due to Health Issues

Uvalde Mayor Cody Smith has resigned, citing health concerns. Smith was elected to office in November 2022, defeating gun-control advocate Kimberly Mata-Rubio, whose daughter died in the Robb Elementary School massacre six months earlier. The mass shooting left 21 people dead and police officers facing accusations that they had failed to bring the situation under control. Mr. Smith resigns just weeks after police chief Daniel Rodriguez stepped down.

Announcing his resignation, Mr. Smith thanked the local community for their thoughts and prayers as he recovered from illness, but he did not go into detail. He disclosed his departure a day before a regional council meeting where a city report absolving police of responsibility for the school tragedy was scheduled for discussion.

A federal investigation by the Department of Justice in January found that law enforcement had failed to protect the victims and more would have survived if police had stormed the building. However, local authorities hit back at the federal report, insisting that officers had followed procedures and were therefore not accountable.

Despite federal findings, a second report conducted by Austin-based investigator Jesse Prado, concluded that communication failures, poor training, and lack of available equipment meant that officers could not stop the attacks. “There were problems all day long with communication and lack of it,” Prado said.

Victims’ family members were furious with Mr. Prado’s findings and criticized him for leaving a city council meeting before they had a chance to ask him questions. An assembled group of family members shouted “cowards” at local officials as they accepted the findings of Prado’s investigation.

On the day of the atrocity in May 2022, an 18-year-old former Robb Elementary pupil, Salvador Ramos, armed with an AR-15 rifle, entered the building and began firing. Police were on the scene for 77 minutes before they subdued the shooter. The Justice Department said the officers failed in their duty and did not prioritize neutralizing the gunman as they should have.