Seven weeks after 19 students and two teachers were massacred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, marking the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, security footage from inside the school was obtained by the Austin-American-Statesman and KVUE, which they published in two separate videos on Tuesday.
That the footage was only published now, after apparently being leaked to the press by a source close to the investigation, is a testament to the massive police cover-up and deliberate slow drip of information—much of which has been proven false—that has been underway since the day of the massacre.
For over a month, Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee has refused requests from media to release the “hallway” video, which was originally given to her by the Texas Department of Safety, which likewise refused to release the video or show family members of the deceased who have been demanding answers and accountability for police inaction since May.
In the two videos released on Tuesday by the Statesman, footage is shown from outside and inside the school as well as some police body camera tape. The tape begins by showing 18-year-old Salvador Ramos crash his grandmother’s truck, which he stole after shooting her in the face, in a ditch outside the school at 11:28 a.m on May 24. Two persons are shown trying to help Ramos, who responds by shooting at them, causing them to run in fear.
In the video released by the Statesman, audio is included from the Robb Elementary School teacher who called 911 at 11:31 a.m. to report a gunman outside the school.
By this time there had been at least three phone calls to emergency services regarding Ramos’ rampage, including from a teacher inside the school, Ramos’ neighbors, who were tending to his injured grandmother and witnessed him drive off, and the two people who fled after attempting to help Ramos following the crash.
“I cannot see him!” the teacher tells the operator. “The kids are running! Oh, my god.” As the teacher speaks, video from a bystander shows Ramos enter the school parking lot and begin shooting at the school.
As Ramos is shooting, the teacher is heard yelling, “Get down! Get in your rooms! Get in your rooms!”
At 11:33 a.m. the school camera inside the hallway captures Ramos entering the school. Roughly 25 seconds later, he begins shooting inside the school.
As Ramos begins his massacre, an “Editor’s Note” appears on screen: “The sound of children screaming has been removed.” Police claim to have recovered over 100 shell casings fired by Ramos from inside the classroom.
The footage shows at least seven police officers wearing body armor and equipped with at least one AR-15-style rifle enter the school three minutes after Ramos did, almost exactly at 11:36 a.m.
After initially moving towards Classrooms 111 and 112, within a minute of entering the school, the police hear more gunfire from inside the classroom where Ramos is shooting. Instead of moving towards the sound of gunfire, the cowardly cops sprinted away from the classrooms and took cover down the hallway.
It would be another 74 minutes before police attempted to open the classroom door and engage Ramos. From 11:37 a.m. through 12:49 p.m., not a single cop tried to open the door or engage Ramos. This is despite the fact that by 11:38 a.m., as Ramos continued to fire from inside the classroom, seven cops were in the hallway with body armor and at least one AR-15. By 11:43 a.m. at least two different cops are observed on the camera with AR-15s, and seven cops have body armor on.
By 11:51 a.m., 18 minutes after Ramos entered the school and more than 20 minutes after receiving multiple emergency calls from teachers and community members that Ramos had shot multiple people inside and outside the school, heavily armed federal Border Patrol agents are observed in the hallway. There were now well over a dozen cops in the hallway, with at least four equipped with AR-15 style rifles.
By 11:52 a.m. at least one Uvalde county sheriff took a position at the end of the hall with a ballistic shield, body armor, a combat helmet and an AR-15 style rifle. Ramos continued to fire sporadically from inside the classroom yet no police had tried to open the door.
At 12:04 p.m., 31 minutes after Ramos first entered the school and 28 minutes after cops followed him in, two more ballistic shields are shown on the camera while at least five cops are observed carrying AR-15 style rifles. At 12:21 p.m. over a dozen cops were in the school with at least three ballistic shields and over six AR-15’s as gunshots from inside the classroom continued to ring out in the hallway.
By 12:23 p.m. at which point emergency services has received multiple calls from injured children inside the classroom, over two dozen highly armed militarized local, state, county police and Border Patrol agents were in the hallway. Ramos continued to fire inside the classroom. Not a single cop tried to enter the classroom.
For over an hour heavily armed police walked up and down the hallway, checked their gear, readjusted the chin straps on their helmets, looked at blueprints of the school, scrolled on their phones, texted and made phones calls. One cop in body armor and with a helmet took some time to clean his hands with hand sanitizer, in-between leaning up against the wall, standing around and generally looking disinterested at doing anything to stop the ongoing massacre.
While police inside the school took a lackadaisical approach to saving the lives of innocent children, outside the school, police assaulted, tasered and arrested parents who attempted to enter the school to save their children after cops refused their pleas to engage the gunman.
The first edit released by the Statesman is roughly four minutes long, while the second is roughly an hour and 22 minutes. Almost all of the footage was taken from a single camera in the hallway of Robb Elementary, which the police have been in possession of since the day of the massacre.
The police accounting of events has changed multiple times in an attempt to cover for their criminal inaction. At the forefront of the cover-up is the man who has been put in charge of leading the investigation into the police response that day, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw.
On May 25, one day after the shooting and more than enough time for McCraw to have viewed the security footage from inside the school, the lying cop spread known disinformation in a press conference. He said that a team of Uvalde police officers and school district officers “immediately breached [the classroom] because we know as officers, every second’s a life.”
In the same May 25 press conference McCraw put forward another falsehood, claiming that police “did engage immediately ... [and] saved other kids. They kept him pinned down. And we’re very proud of that.”
At that same news conference, the fascistic Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who no doubt has had access to the same footage as McCraw, defended the “courage” of the police, telling reporters: “The reason it [the massacre] was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do: They showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives. And it is a fact that because of their quick response... and eliminating the gunman, they were able to save lives—unfortunately, not enough.”
At a contentious Uvalde City Council meeting held on Tuesday evening, two days after hundreds of Uvalde residents marched throughout the city demanding more gun control and accountability for police inaction, outraged family and community members called out the ongoing cover-up.
One woman who spoke at the meeting addressed the council directly: “While we won’t forget the names of those that died, we also can’t forget the names of the people responsible for protecting the children who failed. It was not just [former Uvalde school district police chief] Pete Arredondo, it was also the acting police chief... one of your own. The Uvalde county sheriff... DPS units... units for Border Patrol. The leaders of these agencies, if not just as responsible, are more responsible for their officers’ actions that day. They were supposed to be on the front line, leading the troops.
“When I looked at the video seeing them all standing in the hallway doing nothing, except standing back. I was very very disappointed… Have you interviewed all of these officers? Have you asked them, ‘Where were you? What did you do?’ Were your officers debriefed? Do you even know the truth?”