A newspaper in the southwestern U.S. state of Texas has posted surveillance video of the police response to the shooting rampage at an elementary school back in May that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
The edited video posted Tuesday on the website of the Austin American-Statesman shows 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos crashing his truck outside Robb Elementary School on May 24 and firing his high-powered assault rifle at the building, as the voice of a teacher screaming at students to get in their rooms is heard during a frantic call to an emergency operator.
Ramos is then seen going into the school and walking the hallways until he enters a classroom and walks down the halls. Police enter the school just minutes later as gunfire rings out, with some officers rushing towards the classroom before retreating as more shots are heard.
More officers enter the school, some with body armor. But the edited video shows the officers still gathered at the end of the hallway over the course of 77 minutes without mounting a rescue effort, even after more gunshots are heard. Two U.S. Border Patrol officers finally storm the classroom, shooting and killing Ramos to end the massacre.
The failure of Uvalde law enforcement agencies to immediately confront Ramos — as well as the investigation into the shooting — have angered parents and the Uvalde community at large. The Texas Department of Public Safety issued a report earlier this month saying a Uvalde police officer missed a chance to shoot Ramos before he entered the school because the officer was waiting for permission from a supervisor.
The Statesman says it posted the video to “continue to bring to light what happened at Robb Elementary, which the families and friends of the Uvalde victims have long been asking for.” But Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin denounced the newspaper during a town council meeting Tuesday, calling its release of the video “one of the most chicken things I’ve seen.”
The mayor said that the video should not have been released until it was seen by the victims’ families.