Texas officials on Sunday released video footage showing law enforcement’s delayed response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Tex., that led to the deaths of 19 students and two teachers.
The Washington Post reviewed the body-camera video and two versions of the hallway video to produce a timeline of events. The Texas House Committee investigating the shooting removed the audio from the hallway video before releasing it. The committee’s version begins after Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old shooter, enters the building. Last week, the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE, a local television station, obtained the video and released a longer version with sound, showing the shooter’s arrival. The outlets made edits to the video, blurring the face of a child in the hallway and removing the sound of children screaming. Along with the hallway video, the outlets also released footage from the security camera of a funeral home near the school, cellphone video, and audio and video from body cameras. The city blurred the faces of children and teachers in the body-camera footage.
This report focuses on the videos with audio.
The footage shows Ramos crashing his truck and captures a woman’s frantic 911 call from inside the school even before Ramos enters the building. Twenty-one seconds after he walks through the doors, Ramos begins shooting in two connected classrooms, continuing even as law enforcement arrives within minutes. He fires rounds on and off over the next 48 minutes. Armed officers from different agencies gather in the hallway with firearms and ballistic shields. but they mill about without breaching the classroom doors.
About an hour after Ramos began the attack, an officer stops to use the hand sanitizer dispenser, rubbing his hands together thoroughly as he walks back to his original position.
Ramos is inside the classrooms for a total of 77 minutes.
What we know about the victims of the school shooting in Texas
Surveillance video from the Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home across the street from the school shows Ramos crashing his car in a ditch at 11:28 a.m., then shooting at people who walk up to the crash site. Ramos subsequently walks across the parking lot while firing more than a dozen gunshots, according to The Post’s count.
Around the same time, audio of a 911 call from inside the school captures a woman calling for help as Ramos approaches. “He’s shooting,” she says. “The kids are running.” She then screams at students to “get in your rooms!”
Video from the fish-eye camera inside the school shows Ramos entering the building at 11:33 a.m. through an unlocked west-side entrance armed with a semiautomatic rifle. Outside, a body camera films law enforcement officers near the school’s east entrance. “He made it to the building?” one asks. “Yes,” another replies. Inside, Ramos walks unhurriedly down the empty hallway and makes a right. A child rounding the corner spots Ramos and then bolts when Ramos opens fire as he walks into one of the two connected classrooms, 21 seconds after entering the school. In the next two minutes and 30 seconds, Ramos fires at least 80 rounds, according to The Post’s count, in either Room 111 or Room 112 — two adjoining classrooms. While shooting, Ramos steps outside the classrooms briefly and reenters.
A Hellfire trigger system was recovered in the classrooms afterward, according to the Texas lawmakers’ investigative report, but the committee was unable to determine whether it was used. Such a device quickens the pace at which the weapon’s trigger resets, creating a faster rate of fire, said N.R. Jenzen-Jones, the director of Armament Research Services, a specialist arms investigations firm.
3 minutes: Officers arrive
Video from the hallway at 11:36 a.m. shows a group of at least seven law enforcement officers entering the school through the same west-side entrance as Ramos. According to a timeline from Steven C. McCraw, head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, 11 officers from the Uvalde Police Department and Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District were the first to respond, coming through the south and west doors. The group included Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, then chief of the school district police. McCraw said Arredondo was the incident commander, a claim that Arredondo has disputed.
Texas House Rep. Joe Moody (D) identified one of the officers on the west side as Ruben Ruiz, a school district officer whose wife, teacher Eva Mireles, was killed that day.
The hallway video shows Ramos continuing to shoot in the classrooms as two officers run to the classrooms and crouch outside. Ramos fires at them, and they sprint back down the hallway. One of the officers is wearing a body camera, and he swears as he checks to see if he is bleeding. “That’s my wife’s classroom,” says Ruiz, who is in the background. According to McCraw, both officers suffered grazing wounds from the gunshots.
Over the course of four minutes, McGraw said, the gunman fired more than 100 rounds. During this time, more than 100 rounds are audible in the video.
20 minutes: More gunshots
Over the next 20 minutes, at least seven additional rounds are heard as more officers arrive through the west entrance.
At 11:48 a.m., an officer on the west side is filmed on body camera saying, “Dude, we gotta get in there, man.” Another officer tells him to standby. “There’s no active shooting,” he responds, despite the sporadic gunshots in the minutes before.
At 11:52 a.m., a U.S. Border Patrol agent arrives with a ballistic shield. Others from the county sheriff’s office and state police come as well, identifiable by the insignia on their uniforms. No one approaches the classroom doors.
At 11:53 a.m., emergency medical services are called to a cross street near the school, according to audio reviewed by The Post.
At 11:58 a.m., family members stand in a crowd in front of the school, demanding entry and arguing with police. A uniformed officer shoves a man and yells at people to move back. Inside, officers stay stationed at the end of the empty hallway, guns pointed toward the classrooms.
Meanwhile, an officer with a body camera films a frantic scene as officers evacuate children and teachers through broken windows.
30 minutes: ‘The room is full of victims’
From 12:03 p.m., students inside the two classrooms with Ramos begin calling 911 repeatedly, according to McCraw. When the first call is made, there are six armed officers visible in the hallway video.
At 12:11 p.m., an officer on the south side of the building attempts to reach Ramos: “Sir, you let me know if there’s any kids in there or anything? This could be peaceful. Would you tell me your name, anything I can know, please?” Officers are heard making multiple attempts to talk to Ramos in English and Spanish, without success, in the body-camera video.
At 12:12 p.m., a girl calls to report multiple people dead inside, McCraw said. While the 911 audio has not been released, the 911 dispatcher’s call is heard in body-camera footage taken on the west side of the building. “A child [unintelligible] he is in the room, full of victims, full of victims at this moment,” the dispatcher said.
“F—” officers react. “The room is full of victims. Child 911, child 911 call.”
McCraw said that around this time, Arredondo was looking for a master key to the classroom doors. “Tell them to f—ing wait. No one comes in,” Arredondo is heard saying.
48 minutes: Four more shots
At 12:21 p.m., 48 minutes after Ramos entered the school, he fires off four more shots. Those are the last shots Ramos is believed to have fired, according to authorities. More than a dozen officers, mostly from the Border Patrol, run down the hallway. Several are wearing gas masks. “They’re making entry,” a voice says. It’s unclear who “they” are and which entry is being referred to.
Fourteen minutes later, at 12:35 p.m., the officers have not entered the classrooms. A voice over the radio instructs them to wait. “Stand by, stand by, we’ve got SWAT on the way.”
A minute later, a student in Room 112 called 911 again, according to McCraw. She was “told to stay on the line and told to stay quiet.”
Officers on the south side made yet another attempt to reach Ramos, according to body-camera footage at 12:41 p.m. “Mr. Ramos, can you hear me, sir? Please put your firearm down,” an officer said. “Please, sir, don’t hurt anybody,” another urged.
77 minutes: Officers approach
The officers breach the classrooms 77 minutes after Ramos began shooting. Twenty-nine minutes have passed since his final shots.
In the minutes before the officers entered, Arredondo said officers were having issues getting into the classrooms, according to McCraw’s timeline. “He’s got an AR-15 and he’s shooting everywhere like crazy,” Arredondo said. Finally, at 12:46 p.m. per the timeline, Arredondo said: “If y’all are ready to do it, you do it. But you should distract him out that window.”
At 12:47 p.m., a sledgehammer is brought into the hallway. A minute later, a voice says “everybody heads up.”
Two minutes later, officers move in. The door is not locked, according to McCraw. Continuous gunshots are heard for five seconds. Ramos is fatally shot, according to official accounts. Several officers take a few steps back. One with a ballistic shield appears to tumble backward.
Officers at the end of the hallway begin to rush toward the door, but a man wearing surgical gloves orders them to stand back and make room. The video cuts out just seconds later, but McCraw said that officers began to move children out of the room immediately.
Just two minutes after officers breached the classrooms, anguished family members are seen trying to push past law enforcement officers in order to reach students who are being evacuated in a school bus. Five officers wrestle a man to the ground.
At 1:06 p.m., nearly 100 minutes after Ramos crashed his car into the ditch, Uvalde police announced the shooter was in custody.
The Post has published the full 76-minute video released by the committee.
Arelis R. Hernández and Hannah Knowles contributed to this report.