Texas

Uvalde shooting surveillance video released by Texas media outlets

The Austin American-Statesman and their television partner, KVUE, published video that includes scenes from outside Robb Elementary School and the moment when the 18-year-old gunman enters the school.

Bri Kirkham / Texas Public Radio
A vigil for the victims if the Uvalde school shooting outside of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on Friday, May 27

Surveillance footage from the May 24 shooting in Uvalde has been published by Texas media outlets ahead of the video's scheduled release Sunday.

The Austin American-Statesman and its television partner KVUE initially published edited and shortened clips of the video that includes scenes from outside Robb Elementary School, hallway footage showing the moment the 18-year-old gunman entered the school, and parts of the police response.

But the outlets later published the video in its entirety.

"Both media outlets have elected to release that footage Tuesday to provide transparency to the community, showing what happened as officials waited to enter that classroom," the KVUE story notes on its website.

Two teachers and 19 students were killed during the shooting. Seventeen people were injured in what has become Texas' deadliest school shooting, and the second deadliest in the U.S. after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.

The original hallway footage runs 77 minutes, but the video published by the Austin-based news outlets was edited down to just over four minutes.

The video shows the gunman entering the elementary school wearing what looks like all-black clothing, carrying a backpack, and holding a semi-automatic rifle.

Briana Sanchez And Nate Chute / Austin American-Statesman
A still from the video published by the Austin American-Statesman, which was obtained by the paper and KVUE.

Shortly after making his way in, the gunman turned right in one of the hallways, and started shooting in at least one classroom.

The footage shows a student walking towards the same hallway seconds before the initial rounds were shot.

The child, whose identity and face were blurred out by the media outlets, can be seen stopping for a few seconds before turning and running away.

Minutes after the gunman entered the school, at least seven police officers entered the school. The video shows some of them running toward the classrooms.

However, officers ran back towards the entrance after the gunman fired his weapon.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, officers inside Robb Elementary waited more than an hour after the shooting began to enter the classroom. That can be seen in the video, despite the gunman firing additional shots over that time period.

While waiting, police officers can be seen walking in the hallway, some talking on their phones. They were heavily armed and many were wearing body armor.

DPS said the commander on scene, Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, was responsible for preventing officers from breaching the classroom.

Arredondo claimed he believed the door to the classroom was locked, but DPS said that based on evidence it reviewed, the door was never locked, and no officer in the hallway even tried to open the door.

DPS Dir. Steven McCraw has called the police response "an abject failure."

Earlier Tuesday, State Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, said the entire footage will be released Sunday to family members and then to the public. Burrows chairs the Texas House committee investigating the shooting.

But after the publication of portions of the video, Burrows said in a tweet that "while I am glad that a small portion is now available for the public, I do believe watching the entire segment of law enforcement's response, or lack thereof, is also important."

His decision is in clear defiance to the instructions given by Uvalde District Attorney Christina Busbee to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Busbee had objected to the agency releasing the footage.

Since the shooting, the families of the victims have been begging local and state officials for transparency.

To date, no official police report has been made public.

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