UVALDE, Texas (KXAN) — Kevin Lawrence, the executive director of the Texas Municipal Police Association, said the school shooting video leaked to and published by the Austin American-Statesman doesn’t answer a pivotal question.
The video shows surveillance footage from inside Robb Elementary School when a gunman entered the campus and killed 21 people — two teachers and 19 students. The video also shows law enforcement’s response.
“When [officers] start drawing fire, they retreat. You see them retreat, and they lose momentum at that point,” said Lawrence. “What the video and the ALERRT report can’t provide us is the why. Exactly what was the rationale, the decision-making process? Was there a decision-making process at all? Or was it just chaos? All that’s going to have to play out through statements and interviews, and so on and so forth with everybody involved.”
The House committee investigating the shooting planned to show the video to families Sunday morning before releasing it to the public later in the day.
“There has to be a certain level of trust and responsibility and accountability when it comes to public officials,” Lawrence said, adding the leak “should be investigated.”
Now that the video is out, several community members have even more questions.
“When I looked at that video and saw the officers that were standing in that hallway doing nothing except standing back, I was very, very disappointed,” said a woman who spoke at Tuesday’s Uvalde City Council meeting.
Lawrence said the video is missing context.
“Watching it all the way through, I’m like everyone else. ‘They need to go in, they need to go in. There are people in there who are hurt and are dying they need to go in,'” he said. “The problem is, how do you make that happen without increasing the risk and the loss of life.”
He said things should have been done differently but said any issues go beyond the sole actions of the responding officers.
“I think it’s obvious it was a failure, but I don’t think the failure is limited to just law enforcement. I think there’s a failure to train, a failure to equip, a failure to repair.”