Two parents of victims in the Uvalde school massacre say they saw the security footage published Tuesday of the shooting and are not happy that it was released publicly before they were able to see it.
The Austin American-Statesman and KVUE released footage of the police response during the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary school. Nineteen fourth-grade students and two teachers were killed.
The edited-down footage shows the gunman entering the school, the first officers’ arrival, and officers waiting in the hallway for over 77 minutes before confronting the suspect. It included audio of the gunshots, but the audio of children screaming was edited out.
Brett Cross and Javier Cazares, two parents of victims killed during the shooting, spoke to MSNBC’s Top Story to share they were upset by the leak and said that they were supposed to watch the video — without audio — this coming Sunday.
“We saw it the same time that the rest of the world saw it,” said Cross, the father of victim Uziyah Garcia, “even though we had asked for it before from our district attorney and to not have the audio there. We didn’t need to hear our babies being massacred. It was totally uncalled for.”
Cazares, the father of victim Jackie Cazares, added that the Statesmen had “put it out there for the world can see, and we weren’t ready to see it yet.”
Cross also said that he was upset with the lack of communication between the families of victims and authorities.
“We’re tired of seeing things after the media gets a hold of them,” Cross said. “Nobody is telling us anything. And it’s disrespectful to not just us but our kids’ memories.”
Both fathers also said they had watched the video and were dismayed at the officer’s response to the shooting.
“A lot of it was embarrassing to see,” Cazares said. “People on their cell phones and texting. Another gentleman put hand sanitizer in his hands. And then people fleeing…”
Cross called the officers “cowards,” and both fathers said they wanted to make sure that responding officers could not work anywhere else.
“How many more kids have to die,” Cross said. “How many before people start standing up. You think that ‘oh, this doesn’t happen to me. It doesn’t happen here or anything’ until it does. And it will it’s not a matter of if it’s a matter of when we have to do something to stop these kids from dying. Now.”
Director Steven McCraw of the Texas Department of Public Safety released a statement Tuesday saying he was “deeply disappointed” that the video was released before the families had the chance to view it.
The Statesmen did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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