Law enforcement’s response to the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, has been questioned, scrutinized and criticized since the fateful day in May.
State leaders and local officials have given conflicting and shifting reports and accounts of what happened on the scene and inside the school.
Now, nearing two months after 19 children and two teachers were brutally murdered in their classrooms, the Austin American-Statesman Newspaper obtained video surveillance footage from the school hallway.
The video footage clearly shows the now undisputed failure of law enforcement.
The video begins with the killer crashing his truck in a ditch near the school. He fires at people nearby, then at the school. A female teacher yells, “The kids are running! Oh my God … Get down! Get in your room! Get in your rooms!” Then the shooter enters the building through an unlocked side door.
Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McGraw laid the blame for the tragedy at the feet of the on-scene commander, Pete Arrendondo, for treating the incident as a “barricaded subject” rather than an active shooter. While testifying before the Texas legislature in June, the director said, “The post-Columbine doctrine is clear and unambiguous – stop the killing, stop the dying.”
McGraw noted there was firepower enough to apprehend the suspect within minutes of the shooter entering the building. He emphasized, “The officers had weapons, the children had none. The officers had body armor; the children had none. The officers had training; the subject had none.”
The video footage timestamp reveals the first officers arrived three minutes after the shooter entered the building. Within 30 minutes, there were numerous officers in the hallway. Yet, no one attempted to engage the shooter or recuse the children. During the next 45 minutes, additional law enforcement arrived, but none engaged the shooter or rescued children.
The American-Statesman duly noted that not only were Arrendondo and the Uvalde School District Police force on the scene, but also the Uvalde City Police Department, Uvalde Sheriff’s Department, Texas Department of Public Safety Officers, Texas Rangers, U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Marshall’s Service passing through the video at various intervals, some heavily armed.
However, it took 77 minutes to effectively implement the post-Columbine doctrine of isolating, distracting and engaging the active shooter. According to the American-Statesman, investigators are awaiting the results of an analysis from an Austin-based medical expert on how many victims died after police first arrived.
Is there any wonder why the Uvalde residents demand answers and admit distrust of officials?