Sunday, September 25

Uvalde shooting surveillance video shows delayed police response

Editor’s Note: Our goal is to continue to bring to light what happened at Robb Elementary. The video footage, audio and events described in this story are disturbing. This exclusive story and video are being made available free of charge as a public service. If you value strong journalism from USA TODAY, support us by subscribing.

the gunman walks into Robb Elementary School unimpededmoments after spraying bullets from his semiautomatic rifle outside the school and after desperate calls to 911 from inside and outside the 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 unloading the 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.

A 77-minute video recording captured from this vantage pointalong with body camera footage from one of the responding officers, shows in excruciating detail what happened when dozens of local, state and federal officers entered the school, heavily armed, clad in body armor, helmets and some with protective shields.

The video was obtained exclusively by The Austin American-Statesman, part of the USA TODAY Network, and TV station KVUE. USA TODAY is publishing an edited version of the video to show how the law enforcement response unfolded.

In the video, officers walk back and forth in the hallway, some leaving the camera frame and then reappearing, others training their weapons toward the classroom, talking, making cell phone calls, sending texts or looking at floor plans. But none enter or attempt to enter the classrooms.

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Even after hearing at least four additional shots from the classrooms 45 minutes after police arrived on the scene, they waited.

They asked for keys to one of the classrooms. (It was unlocked, investigators said later.) They brought tear gas and gas masks. They later carried a sledge hammer. And still, they waited.

MORE ABOUT THIS INVESTIGATION:Video offers clearest view of police response — but will it be released?

Officers finally rushed into the classroom and killed the gunman an hour and 14 minutes after police first arrived on the scene. Nineteen fourth graders and their two teachers died in the massacre on May 24, days before the end of the school year.

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