Police in Uvalde, Texas, stood by more than an hour in the hallway of the school while 19 students and two teachers were killed inside two classrooms during a school shooting.
The officers had weapons and shields but refused to rush the classroom even as gunfire continued, according to media reports from Texas.
The newest footage will likely raise more questions about the cop’s response and the inaction of police to take out the shooter. Could it have ended the killing and saved even one life?
Late on June 20, various media outlets in Texas released information about the timeline and the shooting, including screenshots of surveillance video from inside the school. Police from the school district and Uvalde arrived at the school 19 minutes after the shooting started.
But they stood in the hallway and held their positions for roughly an hour before a SWAT team from Border Patrol went in the classroom and confronted the gunman. The result was a dead suspect. Nineteen children and two adults were slaughtered. All during an ordeal that lasted for 77 minutes — many of which saw the police refusing to confront the shooter.
DO NOT ENTER
Around 11:30 a.m. on May 24, the shooter entered Robb Elementary school and started firing, according to the Texas Tribune.
He started firing in the hallway before going into classroom 111. That room shared a door with the class next door.
Inside, the killer started to shoot. He walked out briefly and then went back in.
The first three police officers arrived, all carrying handguns, according to the Tribune. Then more cops and Chief Pete Arredondo arrived, according to the Tribune. None of them went into the classroom.
Arredondo claimed on a cell phone call to dispatchers that he didn’t have the weapons needed, but the video showed at least two officers holding rifles, according to the report.
The chief called for SWAT. The gunfire continued and the police held the position for more than an hour.
At one point, the suspect shot at police sending them scattering. They didn’t move from the position after that moment, the Tribune noted.
The shooting continued in bursts for a few moments over the next 40 minutes. But police never went into the classroom, despite four ballistic shields being carried into the building.
A Texas Department of Public Safety officer suggested they go inside the room, but local police seemed to buck that idea without approval from a supervisor. It wasn’t until 12:10 p.m. that a SWAT group arrived at the scene, the Tribune reported.
Arredondo asked for a master key, and it took about six minutes for them to arrive. The chief tested them on doors as the shooting continued, according to the Tribune. Arredondo tried to speak with the shooter, but the calls went unanswered.
At 12:38 p.m., a SWAT team from the Border Patrol went into the classroom. Then a flurry of gunshots could be heard. Nearly 80 minutes after the mass killing began, the shooter was dead, along with 19 students and two educators.
ANGER AT POLICE
The video will likely create an even larger uproar about the police response to the situation. There are various investigations into the officers’ handling of the situation, including a federal inquiry. But Uvalde police have defended their actions, including Arredondo, who now serves on the city’s council.
That is on top of accusations of covering up their response. Just hours before the new footage was released, family members of victims, a Chaplin and reporters were forced out of Uvalde city hall as police testified about the massacre to a state legislative committee, according to Deadline.
A video posted online by CNN showed a fire marshal telling people to leave the meeting because “someone is intimidated.”
The committee hearings are expected to continue in the state capital on June 21. Now, it will include plenty of raw emotions after video images from inside the school are public.