87th LegislatureCriminal JusticeIssuesStatewide NewsUvalde Shooting Investigative Committee Set to Release ‘Hallway Video’ Showing Law Enforcement Response

Rep. Dustin Burrows is releasing the video against the wishes of District Attorney Christina Mitchell-Busbee.
July 12, 2022
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Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), chairman of a special Texas House panel investigating the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, will release surveillance footage that depicts law enforcement officers in a hallway during the delay before they breached the classroom to kill the gunman.

Video showing the gunman entering the school and border patrol agents breaching the classroom to kill him have already been produced by the Austin American-Statesman. The footage does not show the perpetrator being shot or any of the 21 victims, which included 19 kids and two teachers.

“The Committee will convene at 2 PM on Sunday in Uvalde,” Burrows tweeted on Tuesday. “We will meet with members of the community first, and provide them an opportunity to see the hallway video and discuss our preliminary report.”

The chairman added, “Very soon thereafter, we will release both to the public.”

Burrows previously indicated that the video will not show any of the shooting victims or the tactical team of border agents killing the perpetrator.

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“I spoke [with] Mayor McLaughlin this morning. We both want the hallway video showing the law enforcement response released,” Burrows wrote on Saturday. “The portions from before the shooter enters the room and after the breach would be withheld.”

After the Statesman released the few minutes of footage that did include the gunman entering the school, Burrows commented that he was “disappointed” that the video was made available for public viewing before the victims’ family members and others in Uvalde were able to see it. He also added that they had requested certain portions be concealed that were made public by the newspaper.

In a letter to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) last week, Burrows requested “the entire 77-minute ‘hallway’ video (up until the actual breaching of the classroom).”

He noted that the committee was bound to keep the video sealed due to his “non-disclosure agreement” with DPS.

Freeman Martin, deputy director of homeland security operations for DPS, responded by indicating that the department supported releasing the video.

“However, we have communicated your request to Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell-Busbee,” Martin wrote

“She has objected to releasing the video and has instructed us not to do so. As the individual with authority to consider whether any criminal prosecution should result from the events in Uvalde, we are guided by her professional judgment regarding the potential impact of releasing the video.”

However, Burrows stated on Monday that he will proceed to release the video “regardless of any agreement.”

Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso), vice chair of the committee, commented on the investigation.

“This was difficult, heartbreaking work. I know there’s been frustration at the wait, but our priority has been an independent, nonpartisan investigation TX can finally rely on,” Moody wrote. “Chair [Burrows’] leadership has been steady & I look forward to delivering answers with him.”

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman is the third member on the committee.

Since the shooting, Democratic state lawmakers have called for a special session to consider gun control measures.

At the federal level, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) negotiated bipartisan gun control legislation, which President Biden signed into law, that divided members of his own party but received near unanimous support among Democrats in Congress.

The law expanded background checks for those under 21, closed the “boyfriend loophole” for revocation of the ability to purchase a firearm upon a domestic violence conviction, and appropriated billions of dollars for school safety and mental health funding, among other measures.

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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."