Families of shooting victims, community members react to Robb Elementary report

Committee members say there were multiple systemic failures on the day of May 24th.

UVALDE – While the release of the House Committee’s report offers some transparency into the events back on May 24th, it does little to help the families of victims and the community.

Many are now focusing on what comes next and who will be held responsible.

“You kept us waiting just like you kept the kids waiting in the school and don’t have time to answer our questions. As a community, this has a long ripple effect,” one woman said.

“Cowards like the police department. A bunch of cowards,” another man added.

Their shouts and screams were aimed at the committee members who filed out of the civic center following a brief press conference about the Texas House committee’s preliminary report on the Robb Elementary School shooting.

“Speak to us! Accountability!” the first woman said.

Families of victims picked up their reports Sunday demanding the same, saying the finger-pointing needs to stop.

“The only ones that ain’t under the bus is because they’re six feet in the ground now. That’s our children and the two teachers,” Vincent Salazar, Layla Salazar’s grandfather, said.

Alfred Garza, the biological father of Amerie Jo Garza, was kept from a private meeting with the committee to discuss the report and see the officially released hallway video in private.

“Somebody should have to answer to this right? I don’t know who it’s going to be but somebody is going to answer to it,” Garza said.

No one on the committee or in the Uvalde mayor’s office was clear as to why that was.

As far as what was unveiled Sunday in the report, he’s not surprised, saying everyone knew law enforcement took too long to breach the door.

“If I knew all this information beforehand, I would have taken matters into my own hands and you know, I would have gone in there,” Garza said.

Rojelio Torres’ mom and aunt are demanding justice for the 10-year-old, who is remembered as being loving, helpful, and loved to play Pokemon.

“That’s what we’re fighting for is justice for our kids and for the teachers that lost their lives,” Evadulia Orta, Rojelio’s mom, said.

When asked what justice looks like, she said “Putting them accountable for what they did that day.”

Or more importantly, didn’t do in the 73 minutes it took to breach the door and stop the attack.

“We go back to the day of that tragic event when the parents arrived there and those parental instincts kicking in. They knew something was wrong,” said Uvalde County Commissioner for Precinct 4 Ronnie Garza. “That’s why they were so desperate to try and get in.”

This report was written as a way to provide transparency about what happened inside Robb Elementary. At the meeting Sunday, many were upset because it was only put out in English.

A large portion of the Uvalde community speaks Spanish.

Committee members promised to release a Spanish version in the next two weeks.

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About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.

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