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Hallway footage in Robb Elementary School shooting shows police response

Until Tuesday, the public has not seen footage from inside Robb Elementary leading up to the tragic deaths of 21 people.

UVALDE, Texas — Editor's note: KVUE has blurred parts of the video out of sensitivity for the victims and their families.

As of Tuesday, July 12, state and local leaders have not released video from inside Robb Elementary School on the day an 18-year-old gunman freely entered the school and holed up in a classroom, where he killed 19 students and two teachers.

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That video was obtained by Austin American-Statesman and KVUE Senior Reporter Tony Plohetski. Both media outlets have elected to release that footage Tuesday to provide transparency to the community, showing what happened as officials waited to enter that classroom.

Below is a breakdown of what the full video shows:

Initially, the video shows a truck crashing outside Robb Elementary School on May 24, and the 18-year-old gunman walking to the school building. The video then shows the gunman entering the school and walking down the hallway to a classroom, carrying a long gun.

Five seconds after the gunman turns the corner, the video shows a young boy come into the frame. 

The boy witnesses the first gunshots in the school before running away, presumably unharmed. The shooter did not appear to see the boy, based on the video.

The video then shows the gunman start shooting toward the classroom before walking in. Between gunfire, screams can be heard from the teachers and students inside the classroom.

The video shows the first armed law enforcement officers arrive in the school hallway three minutes after the gunman. The officers are seen running toward the classroom, but they take fire and end up back at the end of the hallway.

In the video, 13 rifles can be seen arriving in the hallway in the first 30 minutes of the incident. The first shield arrives in under 20 minutes. Dozens of law enforcement officers can be seen in the hallway, along with equipment.

No officers make entry into the classroom for more than 70 minutes.

Gov. Greg Abbott, State Rep. Dustin Burrows, who chairs the House committee investigating the Uvalde shooting, Texas DPS leaders and many of the victims' families have publicly called for the video's release.

Burrows announced on Twitter Tuesday that he planned to release the video after meeting with families in Uvalde on Sunday.

KVUE and our partners have kept the families in Uvalde at the forefront in our decision-making process. The families of the victims and the community in Uvalde have been calling for transparency.

We spoke to some of the families of the victims in Uvalde before the video was published and explained what we saw and heard in the video. All but one told us they wanted this video released. Their only request was that the screams of children in the classroom be removed. Out of respect for the grieving families, we muted the screams.

Burrows commented on the video release Tuesday, saying he was disappointed in the release but is also relieved it is now public.

Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw also released a statement Tuesday regarding the video:

“I am deeply disappointed this video was released before all of the families who were impacted that day and the community of Uvalde had the opportunity to view it as part of Chairman Dustin Burrows’ plan. Those most affected should have been among the first to see it. As I stated during my testimony before the Senate Special Committee to Protect All Texans, this video provides horrifying evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary on May 24 was an abject failure. In law enforcement, when one officer fails, we all fail.”

Gov. Abbott's office also released a statement Tuesday:

“Gov. Abbott is disheartened and disappointed that this video was leaked before the victims’ families and the Uvalde community – those most affected by this tragedy – had the opportunity to view it. The governor has been clear since day one that he expects all information surrounding the tragedy at Robb School Elementary to be released, and we do appreciate that the Uvalde community is getting answers. The investigations being conducted by the Texas Rangers and the FBI are ongoing, and we look forward to the full results being shared with the victims' families and the public, who deserve the full truth of what happened that tragic day.”

The full, edited video can be viewed on KVUE's YouTube page:


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