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Newly released Uvalde video shows officers discussing need to confront gunman, concerns about being shot

"What’s the safest way to do this? I’m not trying to get clapped out," says an officer at the scene of the May shooting at Robb Elementary School.
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Newly released body camera video shows Texas law enforcement officers at the scene of the Uvalde school massacre discussing the need to confront the gunman but expressing concerns about being shot.

The video was obtained from sources by NBC affiliate WOAI of San Antonio, taken from the body cameras of three Texas Department of Public Safety troopers responding to the scene. Some of the video is audio only, and the troopers have not been identified.

"We need to go in there. I wonder if we can get in there ... and maybe open that door," a trooper says in the video.

"That’s what I was thinking, too," a second trooper says.

Another responder says the gunman is "there" and "he’s gonna shoot at you again."

"He’s gonna hit you that time. You have nowhere to go," he says.

Robb Elementary School
People mourn at a memorial at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 28.Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images file

The video was published Wednesday ahead of a meeting of the Texas Public Safety Commission to discuss the response to the shooting on May 24 at Robb Elementary School, where a gunman armed with an AR-15-style rifle killed 19 students and two teachers.

More than 70 minutes passed before law enforcement officers stormed inside the fourth-grade classroom and killed the gunman, ending one of the deadliest school attacks in U.S. history. 

During Thursday's public meeting in Austin, Col. Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said he does not believe the agency failed the community.

McCraw's comments came amid intense criticism and demands from the community and parents of Uvalde students, including some who attended the meeting, that he resign.

"If DPS as an institution failed the families, failed the school or failed the community of Uvalde, then absolutely, I need to go," McCraw said at the meeting Thursday. "But I can tell you this right now: DPS as an institution right now did not fail the community, plain and simple."

In the video published Wednesday, law enforcement responders remark that eight or nine children are in the room with the shooter and note that "it's been about an hour."

Someone in the video says there have been no attempts to negotiate with the gunman. "The most I can think of is, like, a response team or something. They’re already there? If they’re already there, I don’t know. I don’t hear no one trying to negotiate or nothing, either," he says.

At another point, someone asks: "Wanna jump the f---ing gate or what?"

"What's the safest way to do this? I'm not trying to get clapped out," someone responds.

The first person says: "Me, neither."

Fallout from the law enforcement response has led to multiple terminations and suspensions. The Department of Public Safety last week fired Sgt. Juan Maldonado, who was at the scene during the shooting.

State Trooper Crimson Elizondo, who was under internal investigation, resigned from the department, only to be hired this month by Uvalde schools as a campus police officer. Following outrage from parents, she was fired less than 24 hours later.

Uvalde schools Police Chief Pete Arredondo was fired in August, and the entire school district police force was suspended this month.

Several other state troopers remain under internal investigation after a blistering report by legislators revealed that state police had over 90 officers at the school, more than any other agency.