Uvalde school shooting video footage shows delayed police response

Texas newspaper publishes video of police standing outside classroom for 77 minutes

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A Texas newspaper this week posted video of police and federal agents responding to a shooting at a Uvalde primary school in May, with footage becoming the focus of a debate among state and local officials as they investigate the actions of law enforcement during the rampage.

The video, posted by The Austin American-Statesman on its website, shows the 18-year-old gunman, Salvador Ramos, crashing his pickup truck and entering Robb Elementary School carrying a semi-automatic rifle.

The sound of AR-15 gunfire is then heard for more than two minutes.

Police officers are seen arriving minutes later. They take cover at the end of a hallway leading to the two classrooms the gunman was attacking.

Another 77 minutes go by before they storm the classrooms and exchange fire with him.

The Statesman did not reveal how they got the video, but published an accompanying note defending the decision to post it.

Ramos killed 19 children and two teachers at the school on May 24, one of the latest in a string of mass shootings across the US that have renewed debate over gun laws and mental health.

Uvalde police officials have been roundly criticised for their handling of the shooting and especially for waiting more than an hour before confronting Ramos.

A report commissioned by the Texas Department of Public Safety found earlier this month that an Uvalde police officer could have shot Ramos before he entered the school but hesitated while he waited for permission from a supervisor.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin and a Texas legislative committee investigating the attack have called for the surveillance footage to be made public.

Mr McLaughlin, speaking during an Uvalde City Council meeting on Tuesday, called it “wrong” and “chicken” for the newspaper to have released the video.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said on Twitter that he was “deeply disappointed” by the newspaper's decision to publish the video.

Mr McCraw said family members of those killed and wounded should have seen it first.

Updated: July 14, 2022, 7:20 AM