Uvalde County DA accused of blocking public release of Robb Elementary surveillance video despite push from Texas House committee

Texas House committee chair tweets his intention is to show video to Uvalde families

The release of surveillance video is something Uvalde families and the public have been calling for more than a month since the massacre.

SAN ANTONIO – A Texas House of Representatives committee investigating the shooting at Robb Elementary School held a hearing on Monday to interview more witnesses about the massacre that led to the deaths of 19 children and two teachers.

One of the witnesses interviewed was Uvalde County Sheriff David Nolasco, who testified during an executive session behind closed doors. Nolasco’s testimony comes after a notice deposition was issued last week.

Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock), the committee chair, said nearly 40 people had been interviewed since the shooting, and the committee was expected to release a preliminary report soon.

Burrows also said the committee wanted to attach surveillance video from the hallway of Robb Elementary to release publicly along with the report. But the Associated Press reported Monday that state police insist they can’t because they don’t have authorization from Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee.

The committee has seen the 77-minute video, and Burrows said a potential public video would not contain graphic images or violence.

“This video would be of the hallway footage from the Robb Elementary school. It would contain no graphic images or depictions of violence. It would literally begin after the shooter enters the room and end before a breach of that room,” said Burrows during the hearing.

He added that Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin and the Texas Department of Public Safety have agreed to release that specific video.

In a tweet, Burrows posted it was his “intention to show the hallway video to the people of Uvalde, regardless of any agreement. I will not release it to the public until the people of Uvalde have seen it for themselves.”

The video was given to DPS officials by Busbee’s office as part of the investigation, but the Uvalde County district attorney has not given the committee permission to release any of its contents, according to Burrows’s office.

“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,” said Burrows. “We will continue to put pressure on the situation and consider all options in making sure that video gets out for the public.”

KSAT called and emailed the Uvalde District Attorney’s Office and were told that Busbee would not comment on anything related to an ongoing investigation.

WATCH: Father of Robb Elementary School shooting victim wants full truth to come out of investigation

Father of Robb Elementary School shooting victim wants full truth to come out of investigation

Alfred Garza, Amerie Jo Garza’s father said, spoke with the DA last week and he says he understands investigations take time and he wants the full truth to come out.

“No matter when we get this information, my daughter’s going to be gone. My daughter’s already gone, and nothing’s going to bring her back,” he said.

Amerie was a 10-year-old fourth grade student whose life was taken too soon in the tragic school shooting.

“I don’t want to get deprived of that of that at the end. You know what I mean? Of the facts. Because I was wanting to to get information sooner than what I should have,” Garza said.

Gov. Greg Abbott shared a different point of view in Dallas on Monday, stressing the need for urgency alongside transparency.

“I’m on the side of full disclosure of all that information to share to ensure that everybody in Uvalde would know exactly what happened. It must be done quickly,” Abbott said.

As a father whose daughter’s life was ripped away, Garza believes facts of what happened on May 24 are important, but so are the actions that followed the tragedy.

“No matter what information we get, you know, it’s not going to bring those kids back. But what we can do is we can protect the ones that we still have,” Garza said.

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About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.

Alex Trevino is a video editor at KSAT who works on the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.