Off-duty deputy who responded to Uvalde shooting is fired following arrest for public intoxication

The deputy was sent from Brazoria County to Uvalde as part of a team of eight patrol deputies and two dispatchers

Mother describes moment she found out daughter killed in Uvalde shooting

A Texas sheriff’s deputy from a neighbouring force who was sent to assist the Uvalde police department last month following the massacre that left 19 children and two teachers dead has been fired after he was arrested for public intoxication.

The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office announced this week that Christopher Lofton was no longer an employee of the force and has been “permanently relieved of his duties” after the force conducted an internal investigation into the 2 June incident where the then-deputy was drunk enough to be considered “a danger to himself and others”.

“Deputy Lofton was off-duty at the time of the incident and immediately removed from the Uvalde assignment and due to his erratic behaviour was arrested for Public Intoxication by Uvalde County local law enforcement,” the statement from Sheriff Bo Stallman read.

The two-year veteran of the department was sent to help the Uvalde police department on 31 May and was part of a team of eight patrol deputies and two dispatchers who were responding to a state-wide call for assistance after one of the deadliest school shootings in US history ripped through Robb Elementary School.

On 4 June, the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office reported on how the deputy had been charged and placed in custody after the 2 June incident, which reportedly occurred at temporary living quarters in Uvalde County.

The sheriff’s office said then-deputy Christopher Lofton was drunk enough to be considered a danger to himself and others

Authorities say that Mr Lofton was immediately relieved of his duties after the internal investigation concluded that he had violated multiple department policies, without disclosing which specific policies the officer had broken.

The Independent has reached out to the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office for comment on the case.

Mr Lofton’s termination arrives as Texas law enforcement official across the state have come under intense scrutiny for the how slow they acted in response to taking down the teenage armed gunman who opened fire on the fourth-grade class in Uvalde and murdered 21 victims.

Uvalde schools district police chief, Pete Arredondo, who has received a lion’s share of the blame for the force’s slow response, recently provided his first extended interview on his account of what happened as that deadly day unfolded.

While speaking to the Texas Tribune, the police chief rebutted the claims that have been levelled against him for being the officer on-the-ground responsible for directing officers’ response.

Mr Arredondo, speaking to the Tribune through his lawyer, George E Hyde, told the news outlet that he never considered himself the scene’s incident commander, nor did he provide any instruction that police should not attempt to breach the school.

“I didn’t issue any orders,” he said, while emphasising that he and his colleagues did what they could based on the information available to them at the time of the mass shooting.

“Not a single responding officer ever hesitated, even for a moment, to put themselves at risk to save the children,” Mr Arredondo said.

By the Uvalde mayor’s request, the police department’s response is now under review by the Department of Justice.

“The goal of the review is to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events,” spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement last month. “The review will be conducted with the Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in