‘She says she’s shot’: Uvalde video shows husband of slain teacher held back while trying to save wife

Uvalde CISD officer Ruben Ruiz was inside school minutes after gunman opened fire

Body camera videos from Uvalde police officers show in real time the response to the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School.

UVALDE – Body camera footage from the Uvalde elementary school shooting shows that the husband of teacher Eva Mireles tried to save her, but other officers held him back.

“She says she’s shot, Johnny,” Uvalde CISD officer Ruben Ruiz is seen saying in the video as he appears to stumble in the direction of the classroom, where the gunman remained holed up for more than an hour.

His wife was one of two teachers killed in the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School. Nineteen students also died and at least 17 others were injured.

Body camera videos showed that Ruiz was inside the school by 11:37 a.m., just four minutes after the gunman entered the building.

He was armed at the time and told officers, “that’s my wife’s classroom.” Videos appeared to show Ruiz in shock, saying those same words softly several times as he remained in the hallway.

At 11:56 a.m., he was escorted out of the building.

Steve McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, previously said that Ruiz had his gun taken away.

Ruiz was initially criticized for looking at his phone while responding to the shooting, but State Rep. Joe Moody clarified the video and said that Ruiz was trying to reach Mireles.

Mireles had called him from inside her classroom, saying she “had been shot and was dying.”

Police actions during the shooting were revealed in surveillance footage and body cam videos released this week by the Texas House and Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin.

The videos show a response starting at about 11:35 a.m. from a handful of Uvalde PD and Uvalde CISD police. They are soon joined by a throng of officers from a number of additional agencies including Uvalde sheriff’s deputies, U.S. Border Patrol, Department of Public Safety, U.S. Marshals and even Texas game wardens. In total, 376 officers responded to the scene.

The videos show moments of urgency interspersed with long stretches of waiting, with a clear lack of direction and communication among the responders.

The House report outlines the missed red flags and failed police response, of which there are many examples demonstrated in the bodycam videos.

Multiple times, in several of the videos, officers can be heard saying that Uvalde CISD Chief Pete Arredondo is in charge, but officers on the scene seem unclear about their roles in the response.

“Chief Arredondo did not actually exercise tactical incident command over the BORTAC team, nor did the BORTAC team seek instruction from Chief Arredondo,” the report found.

But the report didn’t put the blame directly on Arredondo, saying there were numerous failures among all agencies.

“Other than the attacker, the Committee did not find any ‘villains’ in the course of its investigation,” the report said. “There is no one to whom we can attribute malice or ill motives. Instead, we found systemic failures and egregiously poor decision making.”

The officers frequently are heard communicating that the shooter was “contained.”

WATCH: Compilation of clips from Uvalde police bodycams show lack of leadership or decisive actions

WARNING: The following videos contain disturbing images and sounds including gunfire, cussing and graphic conversations.

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About the Authors:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.