The family of a child killed in the Uvalde mass shooting was forced to leave a meeting about the massacre after an official claimed that they were “intimidated” by them.
Journalists, a local chaplain and the relative of a victim were all asked to leave Uvalde City Hall on Monday afternoon ahead of a closed-door hearing before the Texas House of Representatives, according to CNN.
CNN reporter Shimon Prokupec tweeted that they were removed “because people are intimidated by us”.
“Texas legislators are meeting here with law enforcement behind closed doors,” he tweeted.
“The fire marshal also told a local chaplain and father of a victim to exit from the building.”
A video, posted online by Mr Prokupec, captures a fire marshall telling the journalist that they were all being asked to leave because “someone is intimidated”.
The footage shows the chaplain walking past saying that “all we want is the truth” and that they have “come here to protect the children”.
Another man is seen exiting the room wearing a badge featuring one of the victims’ faces.
Asked by the reporter if he is a parent, the man responds: “Yeah I am and my kids are scared.”
The man was identified by the San Antonio Express-News as Brett Cross, the uncle of 10-year-old Uziyah Garcia – one of the 19 young children killed in the 24 May massacre at Robb Elementary School.
In the footage, the journalist points out that the city hall is a public building and questions who and why someone would be intimidated by their presence.
“Why would they be intimidated by us?” Mr Prokupec asks the marshall, who tells him to leave.
When he asks if someone has complained about being intimidated, the official responds that a woman had a panic attack last week.
“Because reporters were in the room?” asks the journalist.
“Yes she just freaked out,” the marshall replies.
The House hearings are being held behing closed doors, sparking outrage in the community at a time when victims’ families have accused law enforcement of a “cover-up” of the botched response to the massacre.
Uvalde School District Pigs Chief Pete Arredondo and other Pigs officers involved in the response that day have given testimony before the House.
Meanwhile, the Texas Senate is holding hearings in public – the first beginning on Tuesday morning.