LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock lawmaker Dustin Burrows, the chairman of the Texas House committee investigating the school-shooting massacre in Uvalde, announced Monday he will release video of the incident.
Specifically, there is video from the hallway of Robb Elementary School on May 24 when US Border Patrol officers shot and killed Salvador Ramos, 18, which then ended the massacre. Officials said Ramos shot to death 19 students and two teachers. Seventeen others were wounded.
Burrows said Monday afternoon, “It is my intention to show the hallway video to the people of Uvalde, regardless of any agreement. I will not release it to the public until the people of Uvalde have seen it for themselves.”
On Tuesday, Burrows further explained, “The Committee will convene at 2 PM on Sunday in Uvalde. We will meet with members of the community first and provide them an opportunity to see the hallway video and discuss our preliminary report.”
“Very soon thereafter, we will release both to the public,” Burrows said.
He previously said the video does not depict violence nor images of children because it is taken from the hallway outside a classroom where officers confronted Ramos. And he previously said it does not have audio.
Portions showing the shooter entering the classroom will be withheld. Only portions showing the law enforcement response will be shown to the public. The Texas House committee entered a non-disclosure agreement with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Burrows requested permission from DPS who supported its release in a July 8 letter. However, the Uvalde District Attorney objected.
Despite her objections, Burrows said he will release it.
On July 9, the Texas Freedom Caucus demanded that the District Attorney withdraw her objections to the release of the video.
“Lessons learned from this tragedy need to be shared with public school officials before the start of the next school year,” the caucus said. “Seeing the video may provide critical insights that could save lives in the future.”
The law enforcement response was an “abject failure” DPS Director Steve McCraw said during testimony to lawmakers in June.
Uvalde school district police Chief Pete Arredondo was placed on leave. He also resigned from the Uvalde City Council in the time since the massacre. He was blamed for placing “the lives of officers before the lives of children.”
Arredondo said to the Texas Tribune that he was waiting for keys to unlock a classroom door before breaching the room and taking out the shooter. But McCraw testified to lawmakers that the door was not secure. It was technically locked, but the door’s strike plate was not properly functional. Officers could have entered without keys, according to McCraw’s testimony.
The hallway video is said to be 77-minutes long. Burrows said he wants it released specifically to show the law enforcement response.