Publisher’s note: CNN was told that the families of the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting were offered the opportunity to view the video privately before this story was published. The footage provided by Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin darkens the children’s faces and ends before the final confrontation with the attacker.
(CNN) –– A new dramatic video of the first agents who attended the shooting at Elementary School robb of Uvalde, Texas, reveals in detail the action ––and inaction–– of the police response to the unfolding massacre.
Footage from the cameras the officers wear on their uniforms shows officers smashing windows and pulling children out of school. Also the moment when in a school corridor they search through a bunch of keys to open, without success, a door near where the attacker had taken control of two classrooms full of dead, dying and dying students and teachers. terrified.
What the new images of the shooting in Uvalde reveal
Unlike previous footage of the massacre published by the Austin American-Statesman this month, the new video shows close-ups outside classrooms 111 and 112. It also reveals conversations between officers and pleas to the shooter.
The video was first provided to CNN by Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin. Last month, the official told us frustrated who was with the investigation into the response to the shooting that claimed the lives of 19 children, between 9 and 11 years old, and two teachers.
McLaughlin said he released the images despite instructions from the District Attorney’s Office, Christina Mitchell Busbee, who is leading the investigation into the police response.
CNN confirmed that the families of the victims were offered the opportunity to view the videos. Relatives have criticized the length of time it took authorities to apprehend the shooter: 77 minutes from when officers first entered the school. This despite the fact that the training consisted of confronting an aggressor to “stop the slaughter”.
CNN received the video the same day a Texas House committee’s interim report on the massacre described a “lackluster approach” on the part of the forces sent to help. The report details failures by multiple law enforcement agencies and mentions problems with locks, doors and Wi-Fi at the school. Also, the personal and family history of the attacker.
Frantic rescues and frustrating delays
CNN has reviewed hours and hours of body camera footage, including new video from Uvalde Police Department (UPD) Sgt. Daniel Coronado, who was one of the first to arrive on the scene of the shooting. at 11:35 am, local time, and Agent Justin Mendoza, also from the UPD.
Coronado yells “Shots!” He runs towards the school and enters a hallway that appears to be filled with smoke from gunshots. Then, more gunshots can be heard, apparently as the officers approached the classrooms and shot at them.
Coronado retreats outside, where he yells “We’ve got him contained,” identifying the shooter as a “male subject with an AR,” at 11:39 am At which point he calls for equipment.
At first, there is confusion as to whether the attacker is inside an office or not. At 11:42 a call goes out informing that it is the classroom of Eva Mireles, wife of Uvalde policeman Rubén Ruiz, who contacted him to tell him that he had been shot.
Coronado tells other uniformed men who are arriving that “there are many agents.” And so he orders some to start crowd control in the expectation that worried parents will soon be showing up at the school.
As the uniformed men gather in front of a school entrance, one is heard saying to the others, “The boss is there, the boss is in charge right now.”
After a few minutes, the message is broadcast that the children are inside the school and are about to be evacuated.
The officers run to another side of the school building, where they ask those inside to open the windows before they find something to break them with.
The uniformed men help the children out, covering the broken glass with a sheet and what appear to be bulletproof vests.
“Children leaving! Children leaving!” an agent yells.
“Go! Go! Go!” another uniformed man urges the children.
“We have to get these kids out of here. They’re scared,” the camera caught. “We have to get them out of there. I don’t know what the hell is going to happen after this.”
Once a few classrooms are cleared, Coronado goes back inside. There, Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, chief of the School District Police, tells the officers where they could take up positions. Coronado turns to Arredondo, asks if there was any way to get into the classroom, and offers to “break a window.”
At 12:11 pm, more than 30 minutes after the shooting began at the Uvalde school and the first officers to arrive were shot, someone yells at the shooter in English and Spanish to surrender.
“This can still be peaceful,” says one man.
At the same time, Mendoza’s body camera shows at the end of the hallway as agents learn that BORTAC, a Border Patrol rapid response team, is still 30 minutes away.
At 12:11 a 911 controller can be heard reporting that a child from “room 12” is on the line talking about a “room full of victims.”
That is relayed to the interim Uvalde Police Chief on scene, Lt. Mariano Pargas, who makes no audible comment.
Just outside the hallway, a black-uniformed officer says, “If you want to start taking the kids out, I can start jumping with them,” but it’s unclear what he meant or what happened next. Mendoza follows Acting Chief Pargas into the hallway.
This Sunday, the city of Uvalde announced that Pargas is on administrative leave to “investigate if he was responsible for taking command on May 24, what specific actions he took to establish that command, and if that was even feasible given all the agencies involved, and other potential policy violations.”
CNN has reached out to Pargas for comment, but has not yet received a response.
Preparations to face the attacker
Gas cans and explosion grenades arrived at the place of the armed attack in Uvalde, but they had to organize themselves. And there were no skins immediately available.
Closer to the classroom, there is no response to contact with the attacker. Minutes later, Arredondo is seen tangled up with a bunch of keys as he tries to open a door in the hallway. Another agent also tries the keys and tries to open the door, which remains locked.
At 12:34 pm, while a man is still trying to find a key to a door, the agents mention that they still don’t have a “view” ––a way to see inside–– of the classroom.
When someone asks if there are other people with the attacker in the room, Arredondo and Coronado confirm that they believe there are victims.
The new video shows the preparation to storm the hall up close, for minutes on end as more and more officers enter and take stock of the situation, as they fill the halls decorated with child labor and a huge colorful “Congratulations “For the end of the school year.
At 12:49 a helicopter is warned to watch over the school, in case the attacker tries to escape through the roof.
Coronado’s body camera catches the officers talking about a burning smell, but all seems quiet around Arredondo.
The videos do not show the breaking of the classroom door or the confrontation with the attacker and his subsequent death. Neither do the horrible scenes inside the classroom.
Body camera footage and other evidence has been in the hands of authorities since the May 24 massacre. However, that information has not been released.
After initial praise from Texas Governor Greg Abbott and others for law enforcement for the response to the Uvalde mass shooting, it soon became clear how long it took for officers to effectively challenge the shooter and get help for police. victims. His approach and a shifting timeline of what happened has been roundly condemned by experts. Also for the heartbroken families who called the uniformed men in the hallway “cowards.”
Mayor McLaughlin told CNN on Sunday that the District Attorney’s Office had told him and others “from day one” not to divulge anything. However, he added that he felt that was no longer applicable given the leak of surveillance footage of the specific corridors.
“I am tired of families being abandoned,” he said.
“Families have suffered more than anyone with the loss of their children. And they have been slapped in the face at all times. Enough is enough,” he insisted.
“We have asked for transparency. We have asked for it in the investigation. I don’t think we still have it, but at least what is in our hands we are going to publish and we are going to be transparent,” he added.
Busbee, the Uvalde County District Attorney, said in a statement last month that “any release of records from that incident at this time would interfere with said ongoing investigation and preclude a thorough and complete investigation.”