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What new footage of the Uvalde shooting recording tells us about the police response


A video out of Uvalde, Texas, is graphic in a way, graphic in what it does not show. It shows police doing absolutely nothing.


It's security video from inside the school on the day of the mass shooting there. It shows every minute of police standing around while a gunman controlled a nearby classroom that was full of children. The Austin American-Statesman obtained the video.

INSKEEP: NPR's Adrian Florido has been watching that video. He's been covering the shooting in Uvalde for some time. Good morning.

ADRIAN FLORIDO, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: What's the video show?

FLORIDO: Well, Steve, I think it's important to note what it doesn't show. What we don't see in this video is victims. This is mostly video from the security camera inside that school hallway, along with some video from outside the school. And so what we see is the gunman entering through a side door and then walking down that school hallway to a classroom door and shooting at it before disappearing inside. And at that point, we just hear gunfire coming from inside the classroom for several minutes.

The Austin American-Statesman, which obtained this video, edited out audio of children screaming before publishing it. We also see within about three minutes the first police officers arriving and approaching that classroom door, but then running to take cover as the gunman shoots through the door. And then really, Steve, the next hour or so, we just see more police officers showing up, pointing their guns toward the classroom, gathering equipment, walking back and forth for more than an hour before they finally do storm that classroom.

INSKEEP: And, of course, we've heard many times since then that normal police procedure would be to storm the classroom immediately. How does the video change your understanding of what happened or didn't happen?

FLORIDO: You know, there's no huge new revelations in this video because a lot of what we know happened had been reported before this video was released yesterday. But it is the first visual evidence we have of the bungled police response essentially in its entirety. And it's hard to watch because this delay goes on for so long while we know that there were children calling 911 inside that classroom, a teacher bleeding to death. Ultimately she did bleed to death. And as this video goes on, as these police officers check their phones, apply hand sanitizer, it really drives home how much more could have been done much sooner to kill the gunman and possibly save some of those victims.

INSKEEP: How are people in Uvalde responding?

FLORIDO: I'm hearing mixed reaction. Last night I spoke with a man who was standing on the side of the road carrying a sign that said in part that Uvalde police are cowards. This man had his face covered, and he asked me not to use his name because it's a small town, and he fears police retaliation. Here's what he said.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Since the beginning of this, they've said they did everything they could. They were waiting for things. The stories just changed and changed. And the video today shows exactly what they didn't do, and that was protect those kids' lives.

FLORIDO: You know, this man, along with others I spoke with, have said this video is important because many people no longer trust police or public officials to tell them the truth about what happened that day. But other people here are upset by the video and specifically the fact that the video published showed the gunman shooting at the classroom door. Kimberly Rubio, whose daughter Lexi was killed, wrote on Facebook that the world saw in that video a person shooting at a door, but she saw and heard the man who was murdering her 10-year-old daughter.

INSKEEP: NPR's Adrian Florido in Uvalde, thanks so much.

FLORIDO: Thanks, Steve. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Adrian Florido
Adrian Florido is a national correspondent for NPR covering race and identity in America.