Texas lawmakers release report on Uvalde school shooting
The law enforcement response to the shooting has come under withering criticism in the weeks since the attack. In June, Abbott called for the Texas House to convene a special legislative committee to investigate the shooting, and the lawmakers released their preliminary findings in Sunday’s report. The committee interviewed 40 people, including at least 20 law enforcement officials.
Committee members were set to meet with families of the victims later Sunday to discuss their report and answer their questions.
Some of that footage leaked to local news outlets, including the Austin-American Statesman and KVUE, last week. The video showed the gunman walking down an empty hallway and stopping to fire into classrooms, as a student who spotted the shooter rounded a corner and then ran away. Three minutes later, the first police officers entered the building, and the gunman shot at them.
The video then jumped 19 minutes ahead and showed a more heavily armed police presence in the hallway, but officers had still not confronted the gunman. Seventy-seven minutes into the edited video, officers can be seen breaching the classroom amid a barrage of gunfire.
Although Texas lawmakers initially praised law enforcement response, in the weeks since, local authorities have provided shifting and often conflicting accounts of the delay between when the gunman entered the school and when U.S. Border Patrol agents unlocked the classroom door and killed him. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said days after the shooting that he had been “misled” by officers in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
On Friday, The New York Times reported that Uvalde officials gave a document to McCraw in a closed-door meeting in the days after the shooting that urged him to praise law enforcement for acting quickly and saving children’s lives. The meeting came after McCraw had publicly criticized the law enforcement response. McCraw’s agency is leading the investigation into the police response. Additionally, the Justice Department said on May 30 that it would be conducting a review of law enforcement’s actions.
Government officials last week objected to the initial release of the video, with McCraw saying he was “deeply disappointed” the video had been released before victims’ families had a chance to view it. The families were supposed to privately view the video on Sunday.