Officers had access to ballistic shields and rifles as they stood in the hallway for roughly 60 minutes while children were slaughtered inside a Uvalde elementary school,
Late June 20, various news outlets in Texas released still images from surveillance video from inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, as a gunman opened fire killing 19 students and two adults.
The disturbing video shows police waiting in the hallway for a seeming eternity. Officers scattered the first time shots were fired at them and remained there as innocent 4th graders died in a barrage of bullets.
The newest videos and reports are sure to raise even more questions about the police response, as officials in Texas and Uvalde continue to cover up their actions, defend the indefensible and hide from public scrutiny.
Around 11:33 a.m. on May 24, the gunman walked into the school at the northwest entrance, firing shots in the hallway, according to the Texas Tribune. The killer crashed his car outside and then moved inside.
A student peaked around the corner but heard the gunfire and ran away uninjured.
The shooter then entered classroom 111, which had an adjoined door with classroom 112, and began shooting. He briefly left the classroom and then went back in. The shooting continued for minutes.
It was then officers first entered the school. One from the school district’s force and two from Uvalde Police, the Tribune noted. All three had handguns.
Chief Pete Arredondo and seven more officers arrived seconds later. The shooter opened fire at the officers, grazing two and scattering the police.
The officers remained where they ended up after running away after being shot at.
They never fired a shot.
Officers believed they had the shooter contained and Arredondo called the area 911 dispatch center from his cell phone.
“Hey, hey, it’s Arredondo. It’s Arredondo. Can you hear me?” Arredondo said. “No, I have to tell you where we’re at. It’s an emergency right now. I’m inside the building.”
At that time, 11 officers were in the school and two had rifles, according to the Tribune. But the chief told the dispatcher he didn’t have the firepower to confront the gunman.
“Yes and they need to be outside of this building prepared,” Arredondo said, the Tribune reported. “Because we don’t have enough firepower right now. It’s all pistol and he has an AR-15. If you can get the SWAT team set up, by the funeral home, OK, we need — yes, I need some more firepower in here because we all have pistols and this guy’s got a rifle. So I don’t have a radio. I don’t have a radio. If somebody can come in —”
The police stood by for minutes — agonizing minutes of terror for the children inside the rooms. The same for the parents gathered outside. The police stood there.
More shots were fired at 11:40 a.m., then another burst four minutes later and again at 12:21 p.m.
Officers didn’t move even as more police arrived, and four ballistic shields were carried into the building.
A special agent from the Texas Department of Public Safety urged police to go in the classroom and stayed for six minutes before heading to another room, according to the Tribune.
The husband of teacher Eva Mireles, who was a cop, arrived at the scene, the publication noted. He reported his wife said she was bleeding and shot. Police escorted him away the area.
Shortly after noon, the DPS officer returned and said the situation required them to enter.
A police officer then asked if they should have a supervisor approve them going in. The DPS agents responded the person wasn’t his boss and went back to clearing other rooms.
SWAT arrived around 12:10 p.m., a little more than 30 minutes after the gunman entered the school. Arredondo asked for a master key, which took six minutes to arrive. Then more gunshots could be heard.
Arredondo tried to talk to the shooter, but got no response.
At 12:38 p.m., the key was inserted into room 111 and a Border Patrol tactical unit went in. A fury of gunshots followed.
The gunman was dead.
Nineteen children were slaughtered.
For 77 minutes the terror enveloped the school. All while the police stood there.