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'They're just cowards': Two fathers, two viewpoints on release of Uvalde school shooting video

The 77-minute video from inside the hallway of Robb Elementary gives an unfiltered look at the failures on that horrible day when 19 children and two teachers died.

UVALDE, Texas — We are hearing from two Uvalde fathers with two points of view on the decision to release the video inside Robb Elementary school.

Both are angry, but for different reasons.

Javier Cazares lost his 9-year-old daughter Jackie in the mass shooting. He and other family members are angry about how the video was released.

"We are pissed. These families didn't deserve it. I don't deserve it. That's a slap to our babies’ faces," Cazares said.

His niece, Annabell Guadalupe Rodriguez, was also killed. She and Jackie were best friends.

Another father, whose son survived the shooting, directed his anger toward law enforcement.

"It's like PTSD. You see 'em and you just want to go after them, you know? Anger. Rage. They're just cowards. They need to resign," Adam Martinez said.

The 77-minute video from inside the hallway of Robb Elementary school gives an unfiltered look at the failures on that horrible day when 19 children and two teachers were killed.

It was first obtained by KVUE, our sister station in Austin, and the Austin-American Statesman.

We are releasing the video as part of our efforts to be transparent in our coverage, as well as our ongoing efforts to hold law enforcement accountable.

It’s the latest chapter in a chaotic investigation that’s been full of missteps, misinformation, and contradictions going back to the day of the shooting.

“It is a fact because of their quick response getting on the scene, being able to respond to the gunman and eliminate the gunman they were able to save lives," Governor Abbott said on May 24.

On May 25, the governor continued to praise the officers.

“It could have been worse.”

Those words have not aged well.  

"Law enforcement officials did what they do. They showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives,” Abbott said. "I can tell you those officers that arrived on the scene and put their lives in danger.”

After seeing the video and the lack of action by a small army of officers, the governor’s pats on the backs that day are uncomfortable to hear.

Two days later, on May 27, the story abruptly changed.

"It was the wrong decision, period. There's no excuse for that,” said DPS Director Colonel Steven McCraw.

By then, they knew the officers waited more than an hour to breach the classroom and take out the gunman. McGraw later called their actions an “abject failure."

"I was misled, I am absolutely livid about that,” Abbott said.

The video shows nearly two dozen officers, some with high-powered rifles and ballistic shields, hiding down the hallway from two classrooms where students and their teachers were slowly bleeding out. 

Two fist-bumped and another casually uses hand sanitizer in the hallway before retreating behind the wall.

One officer seen checking his phone was trying to reach his wife, teacher Eva Mireles, who died in the shooting, according to State Rep. Joe Moody. Earlier reports said that officer tried to get to her after she told him she'd been shot and was dying, but other officers stopped him and even took his gun away.

Experts say it’s one of the worst law enforcement failures in American history, contrary to everything law enforcement is trained to do in an active shooter situation.

“Even a single officer has the responsibility to go stop the killing, and that did not happen,” said Chief Jimmy Perdue, President of the Texas Police Chiefs Association.

Meanwhile, multiple calls were made to 911 from children inside the classroom begging them to send help. One little girl called nine times.

“You can’t dispute what’s on the video and, at that point, you can go after the ones who dropped the ball,” said Jesse Rizo, another family member of Jackie Cazares.

Abbott said he wishes families could have seen the video privately first, but said he fully supports the release of all information about the shooting to the public.

Uvalde school shooting timeline

11:28 a.m. The horror of May 24 begins when cameras perched atop a funeral home across the street from Robb Elementary capture the gunman crashing his grandmother’s truck into a ditch. We would later learn his grandmother was his first shooting victim. She was critically injured but did survive.

Two men from the funeral home rush toward the crash scene but the gunman fires three shots at them, forcing them to retreat to safety.

11:31 a.m. Another camera shows how the shooter then walked toward the campus and begins shooting from the parking lot.

In a 911 call, you hear a teacher screaming, “He’s shooting … Oh my God! Get in your rooms! Get in your rooms! Get in your rooms! Get in your rooms!”

11:32 a.m. Multiple gunshots outside the school are recorded on a bystander’s camera.

11:33 a.m. The gunman enters the school through a side door, turns down the hallway carrying a long gun and walks toward the two classrooms where the victims were located.

In a chilling moment, a little boy comes out of the bathroom and peeks around the corner where he sees the gunman and hears a barrage of gunfire before running back to safety. We blurred the child’s face to protect his identity.

11:34 The gunshots continue

11:36 The first seven officers arrive on the scene as the gunfire continues. Three of them, including two with long guns, walk toward the gunshots as four others wait down the hallway.

11:36:57 More shots fired at officers and they run back down the hallway where the others are.

11:37:54 One officer armed with a pistol walks back toward the classrooms.

11:38:37 More gunfire

11:38:56 The officer who had walked back toward the classrooms, backs away again and joins the others.

11:40 He walks back toward classrooms but stays further away before retreating again.

11:44 As more law enforcement officers pour into the building, including some with high-powered guns and ballistic shields, shockingly no one approached the classrooms for the next 45 minutes.

12:03 p.m. The first 911 call comes in from a student inside room 112.

12:13 The same student calls again and she says 8 to 9 students are still alive. Police still do nothing.

12:19 Another 911 call from a different student in room 111 as the small army of officers continues to grow.

12:21 More gunshots heard coming from the classroom. Law enforcement moves closer down the hall, only to stall again for another 30 minutes.

More 911 calls came in over the next several minutes.

12:30 One officer casually uses hand sanitizer in the hallway before retreating back behind the wall.

12:36 The girl in room 112 calls 911 a third time, saying the gunman had shot the door. Still no action from law enforcement.

12:38 Two officers give each other a fist bump as they walk away from the classrooms where wounded students and teachers were likely bleeding out.

12:43 The girl calls again and begs 911 to “Send help now.” Plenty of help remained in the hallway, just feed away, but they made no attempts to breach the classroom where survivors.

12:50 Law enforcement finally moves in and kills the shooter 77 minutes after the first officers arrive on the scene. It was too little, too late for the 21 victims who died. 

WARNING:  This real-time, 77-minute video from inside Robb Elementary doesn't include graphic or violent images, but does include gunfire. Some may find it disturbing.

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