State and local officials will release footage of the Uvalde police response to a school shooting on May 24 that left 19 students and two teachers dead.
The footage will document how cops stood back for 77 minutes as school shooter Salvador Ramos, 18, stalked across the parking lot at Robb Elementary School and broke into the building carrying a rifle.
At a hearing on Monday, ABC News reports, Rep Dustin Burrows, the chairman of the Texas House panel investigating the shooting said the video ‘would contain no graphic images or depictions of violence.
‘I can tell people all day long what it is I saw, the committee can tell people all day long what we saw, but it’s very different to see it for yourself,’ he said. ‘And we think that’s important.’
He did not say when the footage will be released – although it is expected to come out some time on Monday – but said he is committed to continuing ‘to put pressure on the situation and consider all options in making sure that video gets out for the public to view.’
Officials have previously admitted that the situation could have been stopped within just three minutes after images from surveillance footage inside the school showed heavily-armed police officers holding ballistic shields aiming their rifles down the hallway.
The image was taken at 12.04pm on May 24 – 46 minutes before Border Patrol agents entered the classroom and fatally shot Ramos, and more than half an hour after he first entered the building and started firing.
The officers were stopped by police chief Pete Arredondo, who claimed the suspect had barricaded himself inside and said he needed a key to get inside.
The move to release the new footage comes after a group of parents marched through the town on Sunday night demanding accountability, as police chief Pete Arredondo remains on administrative leave.
A hearing in Austin on Tuesday is also expected to provide further answers, with new images and video likely to be shared.
Surveillance footage showed officers with rifles and at least one ballistic shield enter Robb Elementary School about half an hour after Salvador Ramos, 18, entered the building and began firing – killing 19 students and two teachers
Ramos (pictured) was then able to continue his rampage inside the building
Mayor Don McLaughlin said on Friday he backed the plans by the Texas House Special Committee to release the clips.
He said he hopes sharing the clips will ‘bring clarity to the public,’ amid increasing questions as to why Ramos wasn’t stopped earlier in his rampage after the surveillance photos were released by the Austin-American Statesman last month.
It took Border Patrol agents entering the building to shoot and killed Ramos.
Furious parents and relatives of the 19 children and two teachers murdered on May 24 are now demanding to know why the 18-year-old gunman was free to continue his rampage as the officers stayed outside the classrooms.
Ramos entered the school at 11:33am, and wasn’t shot dead until 12:50pm.
Pete Arredondo, the Uvalde school district police chief, has said that he thought the gunman was barricaded inside, away from the children, and wanted more equipment for the police before they went in.
But the children were calling 911 begging for help, and police outside were urging Arredondo to let them go in.
Children at Robb Elementary School are pictured running to safety after Ramos opened fire in two classrooms on May 24
Authorities have admitted there was a failure of police officers to act that day as Ramos continued his rampage. Law enforcement are seen here standing outside the elementary school following the shooting
The Austin-American Statesman has also previously obtained damning transcripts showing Arredondo asking for help.
Three minutes after Ramos entered the building, 11 officers were inside.
At 11:40am, seven minutes after Ramos set foot inside Robb Elementary, Arredondo called Uvalde Police Department and asked for help.
‘It’s an emergency right now,’ he said.
‘We have him in the room. He’s got an AR-15. He’s shot a lot.
‘They need to be outside the building prepared because we don’t have firepower right now. It’s all pistols.’
Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Chief Pete Arredondo was in charge and mistakenly thought there were no other kids alive in the room once the shooter had barricaded himself inside
Arredondo added: ‘I don’t have a radio. I need you to bring a radio for me.’
Four minutes later, at 11:44am, body camera footage picked up more shots from the gunman.
Then, at 11:52am, the photo showed the officers with a ballistic shield.
‘If there’s kids in there, we need to go in there,’ one officer said, according to body camera transcripts.
Another responded: ‘Whoever is in charge will determine that.’
Despite the officers having rifles, Arredondo insisted they find the keys to open the door.
At 12:03pm, an officer with another ballistic shield entered the school, and a third arrived two minutes later.
Around 12:20pm – 45 minutes after the attack began – Arredondo tried to speak to the gunman, and then wondered whether he could be killed from outside the classroom.
Arredondo asked if officers would consider ‘popping him through the window?’
He suggested: ‘Get two shooters on either side of the window? I say we breach those windows and shoot his (expletive) head off through the windows.’
At 12:46pm, Arredondo told SWAT team officers who had arrived that they should breach the classroom door if they were ready.
They did so four minutes later.
Crime scene tape surrounded Robb Elementary School in the aftermath of the shooting
Meanwhile, video shows that students and teachers were trapped inside classrooms 111 and classrooms 112 as Ramos fired consecutive rounds of ammunition on his killing spree, as armed officers stood quietly in the hallway.
And a bombshell report from the Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training reveals ‘missed opportunities to save lives.’
The report that was released revealed ‘one officer saw the shooter outside the school but did not take action.’
The ‘officer did not hear a response [on his radio] and turned to get confirmation from his supervisor,’ the report details.
‘When he turned back to address the suspect, the suspect had already entered the west hall exterior door at 11:33:00.’
The Mayor said last month he disputed the report’s findings, and said in a statement in part, that ‘it was a coach with children on the playground, not the shooter.’
Parents and community members demanded answers about the police response to the shooting on May 24 in a march on Sunday
They gathered at the school and marched to Uvalde Plaza where they named the victims and recounted their broken dreams
The parents are now demanding a detailed explanation about what happened during the police response and are calling for gun control measures
Parents and community members have now come together to demand answers in the attack, with hundreds marching through the city calling for accountability on Sunday.
The Unheard Voices March and Rally started at the elementary school, with community members carrying signs reading ‘Remember Their Names, and chanting ‘Save Our Kids,’ according to the New York Times.
Then as they assembled at Uvalde Plaza, relatives took turns reading their loved ones’ names and recounting their shattered dreams.
The march was organized by Javier Cazares, whose 9-year-old daughter, Jackie was killed in the shooting.
He said parents were demanding a detailed explanation about what happened during the police response on May 24, and demanding officials hold those at fault accountable.
Some are also calling for gun control measures to be enacted in the conservative state.
‘We want accountability from all levels – local level, county level, state level, federal level,’ said mother Tina Quintanilla-Taylor, who pulled her child out of school early that day.
An unnamed official familiar with the Texas House investigative committee told the Times that lawmakers are now planning to release their findings in a private meeting with the families.
On Tuesday the Senate will also hear invited witnesses and public testimony on three issues: school safety, police training and social media.
On Wednesday, the committee of eight Republicans and three Democrats will hear from experts about mental health and firearm safety.