This story is part of a KXAN series of reports called “Stop Mass Shootings,” providing context and exploring solutions surrounding gun violence in the wake of the deadly Uvalde school shooting. We want our reports to be a resource for Texans, as well as for lawmakers who are convening a month after the events in Uvalde to discuss how the state should move forward. Explore all “Stop Mass Shootings” stories by clicking here.
UVALDE, Texas (Nexstar) — New body camera footage recorded by officers during the Robb Elementary mass shooting May 24 revealed responders feared the shooter had escaped from the classroom and possibly climbed onto the roof, as hundreds of officers surrounded the classrooms and campus building.
A body camera worn by Uvalde Police Sgt. Daniel Coronado showed officers questioned whether the shooter was still in the classroom, just minutes before members of the U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Unit breached the classroom and killed the gunman.
Around 12:47 p.m. May 24, Coronado is heard on body camera warning fellow officers to be careful near the classroom entrance, as the shooter had shot through surrounding walls. Moments later, other responding officers can be heard discussing whether he might be in the connected next door classroom.
Just after 12:48 p.m., Coronado is heard on camera saying, “He’s not in there.” Uvalde Consolidated ISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo is seen next to Coronado in the video, coordinating to ensure the building is completely surrounded.
Just before 12:49 p.m., Coronado is heard talking into his radio, saying: “Keep an eye up on top, on the roof. He might have climbed up the, on the ceiling.”
Coronado then tells Arredondo there’s a helicopter circling, which can be heard in the background.
Arredondo is seen on the phone and heard saying: “Complete surround around the top of the [inaudible]….I don’t know what’s going on, the door’s open, but I don’t want this m***** f***** to climb up the roof and go out somewhere. We need a complete — I’m sure we’re completely surrounded, but I just want to double check.”
The body camera footage follows a release of the Texas House’s Investigative Committee’s 77-page report Sunday that, among other details, revealed “systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making.” The footage also provides a look into the chaotic scene, one that the report found showed a lack of “reliable communication” between Arredondo and other law enforcement personnel responding to the scene.
While groups of officers surrounded Rooms 111 and 112 throughout the 77-minute video, groups broke off to help rescue and evacuate students as well as staff members hidden in classrooms throughout the building.
Around 11:59 a.m., body camera footage captures officers helping students escape through classroom windows, with blankets and vests strewn across the broken windows to protect them from glass.
It also highlights the confusion among different officers surrounding the nature of the call, where the suspect was located and the possible number of shooters involved. At 11:41 a.m., Coronado says via his radio that officers believe the male subject is contained in one of the campus offices, not a classroom.
Later at 12:11 p.m., Coronado is heard speaking to Arredondo and says, “I don’t know if there was two shooters or not.”
Coronado’s footage also captures him making requests for any area agencies to respond to the scene and assist in the response. In total, the House report found that 376 responders from 23 agencies arrived in and around Robb Elementary.
“We gotta get them out of there, bro,” Coronado is heard on camera, as he and fellow officers help rescue children from surrounding classrooms at 12 p.m. — 50 minutes before the shooter would be killed. “I don’t know what the f*** is gonna happen after this.”