Uvalde Mayor and Texas lawmakers push for release of Robb Elementary School shooting surveillance footage

The district attorney in Uvalde has blocked release of the footage, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety

Texas officials from Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin to state Rep. Dustin Burrows, who is the chairman of the committee investigating the Robb Elementary School shooting, are pushing for surveillance footage from inside the school to be released to the public. 

"This video would be of the hallway footage from Robb Elementary School. It would contain no graphic images or depictions of violence," Rep. Burrows, whose committee is aiming to release a preliminary report on the shooting soon, said at the Texas State Capitol on Monday morning. 

"I can tell people all day long what it is I saw. The committee can tell people all day long what we saw, but it’s very different to see it for yourself, and we think that’s very important."

Children run to safety after escaping from a window during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where a gunman killed nineteen children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 24, 2022. 

Children run to safety after escaping from a window during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where a gunman killed nineteen children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 24, 2022.  (Pete Luna/Uvalde Leader-News/Handout via REUTERS)

Mayor McLaughlin is also in favor of releasing video that shows the law enforcement response inside the school, Burrows said. 

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The Texas Department of Public Safety also wants to release the footage, noting last week that the video would likely "bring clarity to the public regarding the tragic events in Uvalde."

"We do not believe its public release would harm our investigative efforts," Freeman Martin, the deputy director of Texas DPS, wrote in a letter on Friday to Rep. Burrows. "In fact, releasing this video would assist us in providing as much transparency as possible to the public without interfering with the investigation in the manner that an immediate public release of all evidence would."

A banner hangs at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School, the site of a May mass shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers, on Friday, June 3.

A banner hangs at a memorial outside Robb Elementary School, the site of a May mass shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers, on Friday, June 3. (AP/Eric Gay)

While officials broadly support the release of some surveillance footage, the decision ultimately lies with Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell-Busbee, who has "objected to releasing the video and has instructed" law enforcement not to do so, Freeman wrote in the letter. 

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Mitchell-Busbee did not respond to a request for comment on Monday. 

Rep. Burrows tweeted on Monday afternoon after wrapping up the special committee's hearing that he intends "to show the hallway video to the people of Uvalde, regardless of any agreement."

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Law enforcement officials from the state to local level have been scrutinized for their response to the shooting on May 24, which left 19 children and two adults dead.