A video recording captured from inside Robb Elementary, along with body camera footage from a responding officer, shows how dozens of officers responded to the active shooter who fatally shot nineteen students and two teachers and wounded seventeen other people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The video footage, audio, and events described in this story about the Uvalde school shooting are disturbing. Discretion is advised.
The video includes security video footage from a nearby funeral home shows the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, arriving on May 24, 2022, at the school in a pickup truck he crashed in a ditch, and it includes audio of 911 calls and officers speaking in the hallway, as well as the sound of gunfire.
The video tells in real time the brutal story of how heavily armed officers failed to immediately launch a cohesive and aggressive response to stop the shooter and save more children if possible. And it reinforces the trauma of those parents, friends and bystanders who were outside the school and pleaded with police to do something, and for those survivors who quietly called 911 from inside the classroom to beg for help.
The 77-minute video recording captured from a key vantage point, along with body camera footage from one of the responding officers, was obtained by the American-Statesman and KVUE.
It shows in excruciating detail dozens of local, state and federal officers—heavily armed, clad in body armor, with helmets, some with protective shields—walking back and forth, talking, making cellphone calls, sending texts and looking at floor plans, but not even trying to enter the classrooms.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw blamed school district Police Chief Pete Arredondo for restraining officers but the video shows multiple responding agencies on the scene, including officers from the Uvalde Police Department, Uvalde County sheriff’s department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers, U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Marshals Service.
The chilling episode begins with the gunman crashing his vehicle outside the school and then firing upon two individuals who approach the crash scene while a teacher called 911 shortly before 11:30 am.
Earlier in the day, he shot his grandmother in the face at home, severely wounding her. Outside the school, he fired shots for approximately five minutes before entering unobstructed with an AR-15 style rifle through an unlocked side entrance door.
The gunman walks into Robb Elementary School unimpeded, moments after spraying bullets from his semi-automatic rifle outside the building and after desperate calls to 911 from inside and outside the Uvalde school.
He slows down to peek around a corner in the hallway and flips back his hair before proceeding toward classrooms 111 and 112.
Seconds later, a boy with neatly combed hair and glasses exits the bathroom to head back to his class. As he begins to turn the corner, he notices the gunman standing by the classroom door and then firing his first barrage.
The boy turns and runs back into the bathroom.
The gunman enters one of the classrooms. Children scream. The gunfire continues, stops, then starts again. Stops, then starts again. And again. And again.
It is almost three minutes before three officers arrive in the same hallway and rush toward the classrooms, crouching down. Then, a burst of gunfire. One officer grabs the back of his head. They quickly retreat to the end of the hallway, just below a school surveillance camera.
Ramos then shut himself inside two adjoining classrooms, without locking the classroom door, killing nineteen students and two teachers, and he remained in the school for more than an hour before members of the United States Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) fatally shot him.
The shooting is the third-deadliest school shooting in the United States, after the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, and the deadliest in Texas.