Houston Matters

New documentary sheds light on law enforcement’s response to the Uvalde school shooting

Investigative reporter Lomi Kriel explains what a trove of information released by a confidential source reveals about the law enforcement response to the worst school shooting in Texas history. Her reporting is the basis for a new episode of the PBS series Frontline.

Students escape through a window at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24, 2022. Two educators and 19 children were killed during what was the worst school shooting in Texas history.

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Last week, a state district judge issued a ruling that the Texas Department of Public Safety must release records connected to the school shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde in 2022.

Media organizations sued for access to those records, which may shed more light on the police response to the deadliest shooting in Texas history, where 19 children and two educators were killed. DPS could still appeal the ruling.

Among the organizations involved in that lawsuit are The Texas Tribune and ProPublica, who have been conducting their own investigations into what occurred that day using a trove of information that goes far beyond what's in those DPS records. A confidential source shared with them many interviews with law enforcement, bodycam footage, 911 calls, interviews with children at the school, and other information.

That reporting is the basis of a new episode of the PBS series Frontline, called Inside the Uvalde Response, which airs tonight at 9 on Houston Public Media, TV 8.

In the audio above, Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty talks with investigative reporter Lomi Kriel, who shares what that information reveals about the 77 minutes officers waited before breaching the classroom where the shooter was.

Among law enforcement, there was confusion about what kind of event they were dealing with (an active shooter versus a barricaded suspect), whether children were present in that wing of the school, and who was in charge.

She says children and teachers inside the school were well trained on what do in that situation, but many officers were not.