(Washington) An almost excruciating video, revealed Tuesday by local media, shows how the police waited 74 minutes before intervening against a shooter who, on May 24, killed 19 children and two teachers in a Texas school.
The footage, captured by surveillance cameras, a cell phone and an officer’s dash cam, was posted online by the Austin-American Statesman newspaper and KVUE television station.
The dissemination of these videos in the media, requested by the relatives of the victims who were to see an edited version this weekend, without an image of the shooter or shots, before they were made public by the authorities, created a some unease among the families, CBS reported.
“The way the video was posted today is one of the most cowardly things I’ve ever seen,” Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin blasted at a city council, according to the same source.
The images are overwhelming for law enforcement, whose action has been called “an absolute failure” by Texas Public Health Director Steven McCraw.
For nearly an hour and a quarter, we see dozens of agents arriving, increasingly heavily armed, without anyone entering the classroom where the shooter has taken refuge with his small victims.
The film begins with the arrival of this 18-year-old young man, who crashes his vehicle near the Robb primary school in Uvalde. Two people come to his aid and are greeted by gunfire. As they leave running, we see him progressing towards the establishment.
The film is accompanied by an excerpt from the emergency call made by an employee at 11:32 a.m., who shouts to the children “go to your classes”.
At 11:33 a.m., the shooter walks almost nonchalantly into the school, even slips a lock of hair behind his ear while holding his assault rifle pointed at the ground.
A young boy then appears at a corner of the corridor, is about to follow him, when he sees him pointing his gun towards a room and opening fire.
From there, the detonations follow one another quickly for three minutes, until the arrival of the first police officers at 11:36 a.m.
They are at least eight, with handguns and bulletproof vests. They advance first towards the class, explosions ring out and they fall back to the end of the corridor.
Thirty-six minutes later, they are still in the same place, but have been joined by other police officers equipped with rifles, bulletproof shields and sometimes even helmets.
They are at least twenty, from different units, but still do not enter the classroom.
Disturbing detail, at 12:30 p.m., one of them uses hydroalcoholic gel from a dispenser hanging on the wall.
At 12:50 p.m., shots rang out. A team eventually shot the shooter. The movie stops.
Shannon Watts, founder of the organization Moms Demand Action, which campaigns for stricter gun regulations, commented on Twitter.
“Police in combat gear wait in the school corridor and even stop to take hydroalcoholic gel as children and teachers are massacred! “, she chokes, asking for more transparency on the failures of the police.
Several investigations have been opened, in particular by the Ministry of Justice, but their conclusions have not yet been released.