Father of student killed in Uvalde calls surveillance videos ‘frustrating,’ wants officers to be fired

Vincent Salazar, the dad of 11-year-old Layla Marie Salazar, said there’s ‘no excuse’

A father of a student killed in the attack on Robb Elementary School says there is “no excuse” for police inaction seen in hallway surveillance videos released this week.

In an interview with CNN, Vincent Salazar, the dad of 11-year-old Layla Marie Salazar, called for law enforcement officers to be fired because they simply “didn’t do their jobs.”

The videos published Wednesday by the Austin American-Statesman showed several officers milling in and out of a hallway as a gunman remained inside a fourth-grade classroom, where he continued firing for more than an hour. Nineteen students and two teachers died in the May 24 shooting.

“I think the main thing that stood out to me was that, you know, the amount of time they were in there and that, you know, the amount of law enforcement there just ... not acting,” Salazar said. “There’s a shooter in the school, there’s shots being fired and, you know, you’re just standing in the hallway.”

“There’s just no excuse for that.”

Surveillance footage showed three armed police officers entering the school at 11:36 a.m., three minutes after the gunman entered the school. Some officers rushed toward the classrooms but retreated when they took on gunfire.

Two of the officers received “grazing wounds,” Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, previously said.

At 11:40 a.m., Uvalde CISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo, the scene commander who was inside the building at this time, called a Uvalde police landline and asked for “a lot of firepower,” state police told the Associated Press.

“We don’t have enough firepower right now it’s all pistol and he has an AR-15,” Arredondo told the dispatcher.

At 11:52 a.m., the first ballistic shield was brought inside the school building, the video showed. The video goes on to show parts of the hesitant response before officers breach the classroom and kill the gunman at 12:50 p.m.

Salazar said the officers “didn’t do their jobs” and wants to know why no one has been fired.

“It’s frustrating because you can obviously see that, you know, these guys were in there, they just didn’t do their jobs,” he said. “And if it was any one of us not doing our job, we wouldn’t have a job.”

Salazar said there were other failures, like how easy it was for the gunman to walk into the school through an open door in a “lackadaisical” manner.

Even at the end of the school year, he said, they shouldn’t have let their guards down.

“We all know these schools are targets... I just can’t fathom how easy it was, you know, for him to just, to do what he did and, you know, somebody’s got to be held accountable for sure,” he said.

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About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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