Shimon Prokupecz: Unraveling Uvalde
On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, an eighteen-year-old walked into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas and killed 19 children and two teachers. The event, with echoes of the shootings at Columbine and Newtown—not to mention the now countless others that have taken place at U.S. schools over the past decade alone—rocked the local community. Not just because it stood as a stark reminder of how commonplace these shootings have become in the United States but because word quickly spread that law enforcement inaction may well have further contributed to the tragedy at the school. Led by Shimon Prokupecz, the team at CNN covered this story with a commitment to getting accountability for the many families who had to contend with the fact that their kids, some of whom didn’t make it out of the school alive, had to wait close to an hour before officers actively responded to the 911 calls coming from inside those classrooms. Pushing local and state officials—including DPS chief Steven McCraw and the county sheriff—Prokupecz and his team uncovered how cops and Texas Rangers stalled their efforts to stop the gunman and revealed how such inadequate responses were often only made public because of CNN’s reports. For displaying the requisite rigor, empathy, and doggedness needed to tackle the political fallout of what was not only an unspeakable but possibly preventable tragedy, and for rightfully using journalistic pressure to elicit necessary results from local and state officials, Shimon Prokupecz: Unraveling Uvalde wins a Peabody Award.