UVALDE, Texas — A total of 376 officers across various law enforcement agencies responded to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022.
Well over an hour passed between the moment the shooter first entered the school and the moment when officers finally killed him.
In that time, the gunman killed 19 students and two teachers.
On Sunday, July 17, the Texas House Committee that's investigating the shooting released a 77-page report detailing the confusion, the breakdown of communication and the many other contributing factors that marred law enforcement's response to the situation.
That report arrived days after leaked security camera footage from Robb Elementary revealed that law enforcement stood in the hallway outside of the classroom that the shooter had entered, waiting more than an hour before breaching the door he was behind.
Mere hours after the Texas House Committee hosted a press conference in which it fielded questions about its reports findings, the City of Uvalde issued its own video that revealed some of its police officers' response to the shooting.
This most recent footage, sent to the media by a public relations firm representing the City of Uvalde, features seven edited officer bodycam videos from the day of the shooting.
WFAA is publishing these edited videos in their entirety to continue to provide public transparency as to what happened that day.
Viewer discretion is advised. -- Pete Freedman
Officer Daniel Coronado
In his footage, Coronado can be heard running toward a wing of the school where the suspect may have entered the building and yelling at his fellow officers to be careful: “He might be in that building… They’re saying he is possibly in the building.”
Seconds later, he says he hears shots fired and yells at his fellow officers to “Get inside!” Upon entering the building, several more shots ring out. With a number of officers already in place near the classroom, Coronado steps outside the school exit and works the phone. He describes the suspect as “contained,” describes the suspect’s position in the building and says that the suspect is believed to be barricaded in one of the offices.
The video later shows Coronado and fellow officers breaking and yanking open windows to pull students and teachers from several classrooms. It also shows Uvalde CISD Chief Pete Arredondo troubled by an inability to get a master key to the school classrooms. At one point, Chief Arredondo is seen with a key ring, trying but failing to open a classroom with a number of keys on it. Frustrated, Chief Arredondo admits about 45 minutes after first shots are fired that “people are gonna ask what’s taking so long.”
Arredondo then suggests that his officers “breach through those windows and shoot [the suspect’s] head off.” Shortly before officers storm the classroom, and more than an hour after police enter the building, Arredondo can also be heard saying of the door to the classroom that the shooter is in, “That door, I bet you, is unlocked.” -- Mark Smith
Officer Eduardo Canales
Canales was one of three officers who ran down the hallway toward the classroom where the suspect and victims were.
His camera shows the moment the gunman shot at police, and how officers quickly backed away to the other end of the hallway. -- Michelle Homer
Officer Justin Mendoza
In his hourlong body camera footage, Mendoza hears gunshots as he is approaching the school. He then radios to his supervisors asking for direction on how to proceed.
He can later be seen moving through the school and searching classrooms as more law enforcement officers continue to pour into the building.
At the end of his bodycam video, a 911 dispatcher can be heard saying that a child had called from one of the classrooms, and that the classroom was "full of victims.” -- Michelle Homer
Officer Randy Hill
Hill's video, just under a minute long, shows him arriving at the school and taking cover behind another patrol unit. His footage does not include video inside the school. -- Michelle Homer
Officer Jesus Mendoza
In his bodycam footage, Mendoza can be seen running toward the school, and telling his fellow officers to duck and cover.
It’s clear that he knows shots were fired in the building, and that someone was shot in the head.
He and other officers ask if they should go inside – and, at 11:36 am, he and other officers approach the building with guns drawn. They later determine the shooter has an assault rifle.
At 11:41 am, Mendoza enters the hallway after a few other law enforcement officials have done the same. He stands at the end of the hallway before going back outside to grab a rifle from a coworker. Upon his return inside, he speaks to an officer who can be heard saying, “The classroom is my wife’s classroom.” We now know that to be officer Ruben Ruiz, victim Eva Mireles’s husband.
He and about a dozen police then quietly wait in the hallway before going into other classrooms to make sure everyone else is evacuated.
Part of the video is muted before a child runs out of the bathroom. -- Tiffany Liou
Officer Javier Martinez
In his bodycam footage, Martinez is mostly seen directing traffic around the perimeter of the shooting scene.
When he arrives at one of the intersections needing help, he makes contact with a border patrol agent, who describes Geraldine Street as a “law enforcement log-jam” and says that they “need to create a path in case we need to get an armored vehicle or EMS.”
The agent can be heard telling Martinez that officers need to prevent parents from entering Geraldine Street, and that he should coordinate with other law enforcement to ensure they also aren’t blocking the way in for other law enforcement vehicles that may need to approach the scene.
Over his radio, Martinez later hears a 911 dispatcher say they have the shooter’s uncle on the phone and that the uncle was “requesting to assist to try and talk [the suspect] down.”
Shortly thereafter, officers can be heard on the radio saying a subject is in custody – information Martinez shares with other officers at the intersection, then later reiterates.
At the end of the bodycam clip, a man in tears can be seen asking Martinez if he knows anything about the situation. Martinez says he doesn’t know anything yet. -- Alex Cruz
In his footage, Zamora can be seen entering the home of the shooter as the voice of a woman shouting can be heard in the background.
He goes to the backyard with other law enforcement officials, then goes back in the house and conducts a search. At 1:48 pm, officers tell a woman, who seems to be a relative of the suspect, that they are holding the scene and nobody is allowed in or out. The woman is can be heard crying, and saying she knew they were there for her nephew, who she’d heard say he didn’t want to live anymore.
Zamora walks then toward the yard and tells another officer he saw blood in the hallway of the house, but that he confirmed there were no bodies inside.
The shooter’s grandmother is then transported to the hospital. -- Tiffany Liou
Law enforcement experts react
The newly released body camera footage amplifies what state officials have said for weeks: police response and moments of inaction may have cost lives.
WFAA asked former Dallas ISD Police Chief Craig Miller and North Richland Hills Police Chief Jimmy Perdue to review the footage and give their thoughts.
Miller was also deputy chief for Dallas PD and worked with the department since 1982.
Perdue has been in law enforcement for roughly 40 years and has been chief in NRH since 2005. He's also the president of the Texas Police Chiefs Association and aided Uvalde officials in the wake of the shooting. He's also testified about what happened before the state.
In Canales' footage, Miller and Perdue point out that mistakes begin as officers arrive.
After they take gunfire from the shooter and retreat, Miller and Perdue say that the officers should have regrouped, formulated a plan and gone back to the door within seconds or minutes.
Miller said the easiest plan was to break the window of the classroom to distract the gunman, while another officer entered.
"It's not unreasonable to retreat, but we've got to get inside that room," Miller said.
Perdue added that officers lost momentum after this moment.
"This was a time to push, and instead, they held. When you hold, you get this grouping of people together waiting for instruction," Perdue said.
"This was not an issue of training, it was an issue of commitment."
Still, Miller points out that the lack of communication and command presence also fueled the hesitancy of the officers.
"They were hesitant, it seems, because of the chain of command issues," Miller said.
"But that shouldn't matter, it's the middle of the school day, you're in the hallway, you heard the gunshots, you see the smoke, you have to act. There will never be a better example of people needing our help and us knowing they need our help here."
Arredondo can be seen in the footage attempting to negotiate with the shooter.
At one point, negotiations are attempted after an officer was radioed that a 911 call from a child in the classroom was made.
At this point, Perdue said training points to action, not negotiation.
"You had a person in the room who was clearly in stress, and there needed to be some immediate action taken," Perdue said.