(AUSTIN, Texas) — A key state lawmaker in Texas vowed Tuesday to release surveillance video from inside Robb Elementary School during the May 24 mass shooting, a move he says is intended to provide transparency to the families of the 21 victims despite guidance from the local district attorney that the footage remain under wraps.
Rep. Dustin Burrows, the chairman of a special Texas House panel investigating the school shooting, tweeted early Tuesday that his committee planned to meet with members of the Uvalde community this coming Sunday to “provide them an opportunity to see the hallway video and discuss our preliminary report.”
“Very soon thereafter, we will release both to the public,” Burrows added.
Burrows’ pledge to release the video caps a dizzying weekend spat between state officials, law enforcement agencies, and Uvalde’s mayor, about how to handle sensitive investigative materials, including hallway surveillance footage purportedly showing the police response to the shooting.
Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety have expressed tepid support for releasing the hallway footage, but say they have resisted doing so at the urging of Uvalde-area District Attorney Christina Busbee, whose investigation into the shooting remains ongoing. Busbee has not responded to requests for comment from ABC News.
Late Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who is running for reelection, joined Rep. Burrows and Uvalde’s mayor in calling for the footage to be made public.
The confusion over the video’s release has exacerbated frustration within the Uvalde community and among family members of the victims, who have criticized law enforcement for their response to the shooting and subsequent handling of the investigation. Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw characterized the police response as “an abject failure” during testimony before a Texas Senate panel last month.
McCraw and his agency have also faced scrutiny for releasing incorrect or, at times, contradictory information about the police response.
Seven weeks after the shooting, numerous questions remain about the 77 minutes that elapsed between the time the shooter entered the school and the moment law enforcement officers breached a classroom and killed him.
Families of the victims say they hope the surveillance footage provides some clarity.
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