Shocking moment police officers run away from Uvalde school shooter

·5-min read

WARNING – DISTURBING CONTENT: A video from inside the Uvalde school in Texas on the day 19 students and two teachers were killed shows police running away from the classroom where the massacre happened.

The footage from May 24 was released by Austin American-Statesman while Texas lawmakers investigate the massacre and prepare to release their findings and footage.

The shocking video captures the gunman Salvador Ramos crashing his car just before 11.30am, before shooting at two men who went to help.

A teacher then calls 911 to report the gunman who starts shooting at Robb Elementary School from outside.

Police in the hallway of the Robb Elementary School, and right, retreating from the hallway. Source: Austin American-Statesman
Police move up the hallway three minutes after the gunman arrived but retreat a minute later as he unloads more rounds. Source: Austin American-Statesman

The footage from inside the school begins at 11.33am.

A child is seen peering around the corner of the school’s hallway before running away. The sound of gunfire is then heard in the video, though the screams of the children have been edited out.

Ramos then goes on to fire his weapon, an AR-15, inside two classrooms for over two minutes.

At 11.36, police officers are seen entering the school. Gunshots can still be heard in the video.

Officers are seen walking towards the classroom where the gunman is. However, more shots are fired by the gunman and police are seen retreating down the hallway.

At 11.59, more officers armed with shields are then seen in the hallway. At this point, the gunman has been inside the school for nearly 40 minutes and there has been no attempt to rescue the school children.

At 12.21, the gunman fires a few more rounds and just seconds later, a group of officers start moving up the hall. One officer is seen walking over to get some hand sanitiser from a dispenser at 12.30 and the footage then jumps 20 minutes to 12.50.

Just under 80 minutes after the gunman walked into the school, officers breach the classroom and kill him at 12.50pm.

This isn't the first time the American-Statesman released footage from inside the school on the day of the shooting.

In June an image of the police standing in the school's hallway was released.

A child is seen watching the gunman after he entered Robb Elementary School on the day of the massacre. Source: Austin American-Statesman
A child is seen watching the gunman after he entered Robb Elementary School on the day of the massacre. Source: Austin American-Statesman

Why the Uvalde shooting video was published

The Statesman decided to publish the video ahead of Texas lawmakers releasing the findings of their investigation into the mass shooting.

The Texas House Committee investigating the massacre had planned to show body-camera and surveillance footage to mourning families and other residents of Uvalde on Sunday, CNN reported.

Ethics and Standards Editor for the USA TODAY NETWORK Manny Garcia, explained the Statesman decided to publish the video, both in full and a condensed version, in the interest of transparency.

"We have to bear witness to history, and transparency and unrelenting reporting is a way to bring change," Mr Garcia said.

"This tragedy has been further tragic by changing stories, heroic-sounding narratives proven to be false and a delay or in most cases rejection of media requests for public information by law enforcement leaders, public officials and elected leaders."

The video has been the source of "intense political debate", Statesman journalist Tony Plohetski said on Twitter.

"Many family members also have called for its release and greater transparency," he added.

However, not everyone was happy about the publication releasing the footage.

Mayor Don McLaughlin said there were parts of the video that should not have been released.

"There's no reason for the families to have to see that," he said according to CNN.

"I mean, they were going to see the video, but they didn't need to see the gunman coming in and hear the gunshots. They don't need to re-live that, they've been through enough."

The Statesman published both a four minute edited version and the full video that runs for almost an hour and a half. The sound of children screaming was edited out in both versions.

The shooting at the Uvalde school was the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook.

Just days before the Austin American-Statesman released the video, the mayor of Uvalde hit back at claims authorities missed chances to quickly end a gun massacre that left 21 dead at a Texas school.

Mayor Don McLaughlin's comments contradict a critique of the decision-making by law enforcement that was released this week by tactical response experts at Texas State University.

The differing accounts and public rebuke of the report reiterated how, more than six weeks after the May 24 shooting, questions remain about how and why police armed with rifles and bulletproof shields waited more than an hour outside a classroom before confronting the gunman.

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