UVALDE, Texas (Nexstar) — After a month of behind-the-door closed testimony, the House Committee investigating the mass school shooting in Uvalde plans to release its preliminary report Sunday. The Committee announced Wednesday that they will first share the preliminary report and 77-minute video from a Robb Elementary School hallway camera with community members in Uvalde, before releasing the details to the public.
However, this information is just the start for a community that has heard conflicting information about the events of the shooting since the day it happened.
Democratic State Rep. Joe Moody, vice chair of the House committee investigating the shooting, said the report will provide context.
“A piecemeal release of information continues to tell part of a story that people deserve the complete truth about,” Moody said.
“It’s a good beginning step, but not the full story,” said Roy Guerrero, Uvalde’s sole pediatrician. Guerrero has continuously reminded Americans that the Uvalde community still needs truth, transparency and accountability.
District Attorney Christina Mitchell Busbee previously instructed the Texas Department of Public Safety to not release the video, according to a letter sent by the Department of Public Safety to committee chair Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock). Burrows announced in a tweet Monday that he would release the video to the Uvalde community and families with or without her permission. He also shared his intention to share the preliminary report with the Uvalde families before releasing it to the general public.
The full hallway video was leaked Tuesday to the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE, and shows the gunman entering the building and the actions, and inaction, of law enforcement. The video was met with mixed reactions, including outrage from members of the Uvalde community.
“We saw it the same time the rest of the world saw it,” said a family member of one of the victims. “Even though we had asked for it before from our DA and to not have the audio there. We didn’t need to hear our babies being massacred.”
Governor Greg Abbott called for the hallway video to be released at a Monday event in Dallas. Uvalde’s state senator, Democrat Roland Gutierrez, says that if the governor wants full accountability, he should call for more than just a video release. Gutierrez is currently suing DPS over unfulfilled open record requests related to the shooting, which he says is in violation of state law.
“Until we get all of the information and all of the body cam footage…we will not accept what is being shown to us,” Gutierrez said.
The people of Uvalde took their frustration to the streets in a protest last Sunday, carrying signs with messages like “Protect and Serve failed”.
“Together, we’re trying to get them the answers that they need,” Gutierrez said.
‘It’s a double-edged sword’: Father has mixed feelings after seeing Uvalde video
Alfred Garza III welcomed KXAN into his home; on almost every wall are photos of his 10-year-old daughter, Amerie Jo.
It’s been almost two months since she was taken from him, but for the first time on Tuesday, he saw the surveillance video from inside Robb Elementary when the May 24 shooting happened.
This caught him off guard and did upset him since he was expecting a private viewing with other families on Sunday before it was publicly released.
“It was kind of hard to hear the rounds firing, knowing where those bullets went,” Garza said.
Nexstar Capitol Correspondent Jala Washington asked Garza if he’s glad the video was released early.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” Garza said. “I was anticipating for stuff like this to happen. I kind of hate it, that bits and pieces are coming out because I would like to see the puzzle as a whole without pieces missing. Because when stuff like this comes out, kind of everybody draws their own conclusions as to why this happened.”
Maybe most upsetting for him was seeing how many officers were in the school for as long as they were before the shooter was killed.
“They took an oath to serve and protect, and I feel somebody should have taken initiative and said, ‘hey, we got to do something now,'” Garza said.
As questions go unanswered for now, Uvalde’s mayor said the video shouldn’t have been released before families could view it.
“It’s one of the most chicken things I’ve ever seen,” Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said. “Yes, I wanted the video released, but all these media outlets knew that we were working with the House committee.”
Garza just wants to keep being a voice for his Amerie.
“I’m trying to let the process work itself out,” Garza said. “And so that way I can get, you know, the solutions. We still have a lot of children that need to go back to school, that want to go back to school. And parents are scared to send them.”
The Texas House Committee investigating the shooting still plans to share the video and their preliminary report with family members on Sunday.
Those lawmakers said their report will have more context, like the fact that one of the officers seen on his phone was trying to contact his wife, Eva Mireles, one of the teachers inside who died. According to El Paso State Rep. Joe Moody, his wife texted him saying she had been shot and was dying.
‘This is not politics’: Experts call for climate change considerations in energy forecasts
On Monday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas asked Texans to conserve power voluntarily between the hours of 2-8 p.m.
This is considered a conservation appeal, meaning it’s voluntary, and the grid has not yet reached emergency alert levels.
This comes as the state just broke the record for demand on our grid Friday, reaching 78,204 megawatts. According to ERCOT’s energy supply and demand tracker, demand peaked Monday at 78,379 MW. While that’s unofficial, once it’s verified by ERCOT it will be a new record for demand.
Additionally, that new record is already above what ERCOT projected would be our new peak at the beginning of the summer, which was estimated to be around 77,300 MW.
“We’ve already hit [about] 79,000. And looks like we’re pretty close on our way to 80,000, if not more, and it’s only July,” said Joshua Rhodes with the University of Texas’ Energy Institute on Monday.
That’s concerning some experts, who point to the fact that ERCOT relies on historical data for its seasonal outlooks.
“The problem with that is that the future is not the same as the past because we’re living in a world of climate change,” said Andrew Dessler, an atmospheric sciences professor at Texas A&M, on Monday.
He and a graduate student started analyzing ERCOT’s methods after the February 2021 freeze.
“We all lived through the blackout, it was really incredibly miserable. I came out of that, and I sort of thought, you know, what’s going on with the power grid?” Dessler said. “I quickly realized it was gonna be a big problem in the summer because climate change is making summers more extreme.”
Dessler then started creating his own projections, which take climate change into account.
He said their model was similar to ERCOT’s baseline projection of around 77,000 MW (or 77 GW) for a peak this summer, but their extreme scenarios are very different.
“Their extreme scenario is more like 81 or 82 gigawatts. And we find that that’s not nearly extreme enough that we see a reasonable chance of demand in the mid-80s, 85 to 86 gigawatts. If that happens, then energy supply is going to be very, very tight. It’s possible there won’t be enough supply for demand,” he continued.
He’s hoping the grid operators consider incorporating climate change into future analyses.
“This is not politics. This is not a turf battle. You know, we’re trying to maintain the power supply for Texans who rely on it,” Dessler said.
‘Enough is enough’: Voices from Uvalde aim to influence gun policy debate in DC
The mass shooting at Robb Elementary led to renewed calls to address gun violence, and action on Capitol Hill.
Last month, Congress passed the bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The law includes measures to strengthen background checks, improve protections for domestic violence victims, and steps to boost resources for mental health and school security.
Some from Uvalde want more to be done, and they’re taking their message to Washington; Uvalde pediatrician Roy Guerrero spoke Monday at a White House event.
“It’s been tough being a pediatrician in a community where children do not want to return to school and parents don’t want to send them there with the fear of a future attack,” said Guerrero, as President Joe Biden stood nearby. “I spend half my days convincing kids that no one is coming for them and that they are safe. But how do I say that knowing that the various weapons used in the attack are still freely available?”
“Let this only be the start of the movement towards the banning of assault weapons,” said Guerrero, getting applause from the audience on the White House lawn.
The push to ban certain semi-automatic rifles, like the AR-15 used in the Uvalde school shooting, was the focus of a rally in Washington, DC on Wednesday. Some family members of the Uvalde shooting victims took part, making an emotional call to demand change.
“I promise you, I promise you, you do not want this to happen to you,” said Angel Garza, stepfather of Amerie Garza who died in the shooting.
Some senators voiced support for the rally’s cause.
“We have finally become stronger than the gun lobby. Now nothing can stop us,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut).
The U.S. House Judiciary Committee will take up proposed legislation next week to ban certain semi-automatic weapons. If the measure passes in committee, it could advance to a House vote. Democrats control the chamber. If it advances, the bill would face an uncertain future in the Senate, where it would need 60 votes to pass.