The timeline of events during the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School is becoming clearer as surveillance and police body camera footage provide more details ahead of a Texas Senate hearing on Tuesday.
KVUE-TV and Austin American-Statesman obtained documentation and surveillance video from within Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, that revealed police were stood in the hallway armed with high-powered rifles and a ballistics shield at least 19 minutes after the gunman entered at 11:33 a.m.
The Epoch Times has not independently reviewed the documentation or video.
Among the documentation reviewed by Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV is a transcript allegedly of a phone call made by Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo, who was the incident commander, to the Uvalde Police Department at 11:40 a.m. asking for help.
“It’s an emergency right now,” he reportedly said. “We have him in the room. He’s got an AR-15. He’s shot a lot. … They need to be outside the building prepared because we don’t have firepower right now,” he said. “It’s all pistols.”
“I don’t have a radio,” he added. “I need you to bring a radio for me.”
KVUE-TV displayed a screenshot from school surveillance video timestamped 12 minutes after Arredondo’s call, at 11:52 a.m., that shows Uvalde police officers taking cover at the intersection of a hallway, armed with semiautomatic rifles and at least one ballistics shield.
None of the officers tried to break down the door to get into the classroom at this time, which officials later said was the “wrong decision.”
Arredondo believed “more equipment” and officers were needed for a tactical breach, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw. Arredondo also thought the situation had changed from an active shooter to a barricaded subject and that “there was no kids at risk.”
However, Austin American-Statesman reported that the gunman could allegedly be heard firing rounds inside the classroom 29 minutes later at 12:21 p.m.
It was already known that law enforcement waited around 90 minutes in the school hallway before finally breaching the classroom and killing the suspect, where he was holed up with the bodies of his fourth grade and adult victims.
It was also already reported that between 12:03 p.m. and 12:47 p.m. calls were made to 911, including by people who said they were inside the classroom with the gunman, Salvador Ramos, 18. Gun shots could be heard in some of the calls.
Three minutes after the last call, at 12:40 p.m., police entered the room and killed Ramos.
Law enforcement’s response has been scrutinized since the mass shooting, including the decision by Arredondo for officers to hold back and wait for a specialist unit.
Video footage from surveillance and police body cameras has been used to reconstruct the sequence of events, which is expected to be revealed more fully during a public state Senate hearing over two consecutive days starting Tuesday at the request of Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican.
The Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans hearing begins at 9 a.m. on Tuesday and will hear from invited and public testimony on school safety, police training, and social media.
The second day of hearings, chaired by Republican Sen. Robert Nichols of Jacksonville, on Wednesday will focus on mental health and firearm safety.
From The Epoch Times