UVALDE, Texas (KXAN) — Leaked video to the Austin American-Statesman showed what law enforcement officials did and did not do while an 18-year-old gunman shot and killed 19 children and two teachers in a Uvalde elementary school classroom in May.
Members of the Texas House committee investigating the May 24 massacre planned to release the footage to the public Sunday. DA Christina Mitchell Busbee previously instructed the Texas Department of Public Safety not to release the video, according to a letter DPS sent to the committee chair, Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock). Burrows announced in a tweet Monday he would release the video to the Uvalde community and families with or without her permission.
The full 77-minute leaked video was released by the Austin American-Statesman Tuesday.
After the video was published, Burrows wrote on social media — “The committee is aware a portion of the hallway video has been made public. 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.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Burrows had said the committee planned to share its preliminary report and the full video, without audio, to the Uvalde community before sharing it with the public. He wrote on Twitter after the leak that he was “disappointed” that the families could not see the video first.
The hour-plus video from that camera provides the clearest account to date of what happened in the moments leading up to the gunman’s rampage, showing local and state law enforcements’ delayed response up until they eventually entered the classroom and killed the gunman. The release of the video comes seven weeks after the massacre, amid public outrage and confusion over different agencies’ accounts of what happened that day.
What the video shows
The start of the leaked video from the Austin American-Statesman shows the 18-year-old gunman crash a truck into a ditch outside of the school. Two people can be seen walking toward a ditch area off the side of the road, and start running away.
Four minutes later, the gunman — dressed in black and armed with the AR-15 he purchased legally a week prior — was seen walking down a school hallway.
Unobstructed, he continues to walk down the hallway before reaching, presumably, Room 111 or 112. Gunfire erupts as he walks toward the room.
Three minutes after the gunman unleashed rounds of ammunition, a group of officers from the Uvalde Police Department and the Uvalde school district moved from two ends of the hall to approach the classrooms where the gunman is.
“Not the full story”
State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, has been calling for transparency and the release of records from May 24 for weeks. On Twitter, he called the footage “horrific” and the nature of how it was released “appalling.”
Nexstar’s KXAN interviewed Gutierrez before the full video was leaked. He had already seen the first couple of minutes of the video prior, but not the full video. During the interview, the senator said the release of the 77-minute video would be a “good beginning step, but it’s not the full story.”
“It’s not going to give us the body cam audio, it’s not gonna give us the information as to what law enforcement agencies were on site and where they were situated. It’s not going to give us the 911 calls, it’s not going to give us any indication as to who really if anybody was in charge,” Gutierrez said.
The Democratic senator is also suing the Texas Department of Public Safety for denying him several open records related to the shooting, in violation of state law.