State and local officials are set to release footage of the Uvalde police response to a school shooting on May 24 that left 21 dead in Texas.
It is unclear when the footage will be released.
State Rep. Dustin Burrows, the chairperson of a special legislative committee investigating the shooting, said officials had agreed to release surveillance footage inside the Robb Elementary hallway from the day of the shooting.
“This video would be of the hallway footage from Robb elementary school… it would contain no graphic images or depictions of violence,” Burrows said.
Here are Chairman Burrows' full comments on the special Texas House committee's preliminary report and the video from Robb Elementary they hope to make public. #Uvalde #txlege @KHOU pic.twitter.com/XWf0A0C2nJ
— Adam Bennett (@AdamBennettKHOU) July 11, 2022
The footage will document how cops stood back for 77 minutes as a lone gunman entered Robb Elementary School and killed 19 students and two teachers.
Officials have previously admitted that the situation could have been stopped within just three minutes after surveillance footage showed officers with rifles and at least one ballistic shield enter the school minutes after the gunman.
They were stopped by police chief Pete Arredondo, who claimed the suspect had barricaded himself inside.
A law enforcement source told the San Antonio Express-News that surveillance footage from Robb Elementary School shows that police made no effort to open the door. The report further states there is reason to believe it may have been unlocked.
According to the source, investigators believe the shooter who killed 19 children and two teachers at the school could not have locked the door to the connected classrooms from the inside.
The source said that all classroom doors at Robb Elementary are designed to lock automatically when closed. Police might have assumed the door was locked, but the latest evidence suggests it may have been open the whole time, possibly due to a malfunction.
The surveillance footage shows that the gunman was able to open the door to classroom 111 and enter with an assault-style rifle, the source said.
The gunman entered the school building at 11:33 a.m. through an exterior door that had been pulled shut but didn’t lock automatically as it was supposed to, indicating another malfunction in door locks at the school.
Two minutes after the gunman entered the school, three Uvalde police officers chased him inside. Footage shows the gunman firing rounds inside classrooms 111 and 112, briefly returning to the hallway, and then re-entering through the unlocked door.
The footage shows the gunman firing toward officers through the classroom door.
A custodian brought a large set of keys to the officers in an effort to gain access to the classroom. However, none of the officers attempted to use the keys on the actual classroom door, instead trying nearby doors to locate a potential master key.
Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, the Uvalde school district police chief, said he spent more than an hour in the school hallway. He told the Texas Tribune that he called for tactical gear, a sniper, and keys to get inside. He said he held officers back from the door to the classrooms for 40 minutes to avoid gunfire.
While the police waited for a tactical team to arrive, children and teachers inside the classrooms called 911 at least seven times with desperate pleas for help.
However, the source said that officers had access to a “halligan,” a crowbar-like tool that could have opened the door to the classrooms even if it was locked.
Customs and Border Patrol Officers finally opened the door to the classroom and killed the gunman at 12:50 p.m.
The events of the day are under investigation. According to Axios, Uvalde Police hired a lawyer to stop the release of the surveillance footage to the public, citing that it could be emotionally distressful and embarrassing.
In a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the city’s lawyer Cynthia Trevino argues that Uvalde should not have to release the footage because some records could include “highly embarrassing information.”
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