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CNN Live Event/Special
CNN TONIGHT: The World Sees The Truth In Uvalde Shooting; Police Did Not Take Their Training Seriously; Uvalde Victims Deserves Justice; Survivors Facing The Path To Emotional Recovery. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired July 15, 2022 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNKNOWN: Everybody, hold its (Inaudible).
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: What's happening there. Is that -- what am I seeing in that? Is that still a shield there?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It is a shield, Laura. So, you heard the shot. That appears to have grabbed their attention. You have about half a dozen or so officers go down the hall. And they notably leave one of the shields behind.
So, the shield is the -- we had heard again and again and again that one of the reasons for the delay initially was they had requested for ballistic shields and they were waiting for those to arrive.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: He's wearing a gas mask there, right, I think the border patrol? I don't understand what the purpose of that.
CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, I saw a couple of them put gas masks on. They just weren't organized. They don't know what they want to do.
RAMSEY: But they go down the hall and as Andy said they leave one of the shields behind, which supposedly is what they were waiting on, was all this equipment. But they still weren't making entry.
PROKUPECZ: That's right.
RAMSEY: They still aren't. And they just heard additional shots fired. They still are not making entry.
COATES: And there, mind you, there have been 37 minutes between the last time we heard gunshots to now. So the idea of, if they thought it was a barricaded situation or no longer an active shooter --
MCCABE: That's right. COATES: -- that is now been triggered, right?
MCCABE: Now they know. And it will be another half an hour before they make entry.
PROKUPECZ: And I just want to talk about one of the victims, right, because I spoke to one of the mothers of one the kids who survived. Who survived. And she told me her son remembers that someone hearing a police officer say, hey, are you inside, do you need help? And the kid answers back, yes, we're in here. And then the gunman shoots and kills him.
MCCABE: He kills him.
PROKUPECZ: And that is happening now. It could have been in this moment. We just don't know. And it's very hard to get that kind of specific information out of the children. But I think law enforcement has some idea, because actually it was FBI forensic type of --
MCCABE: The ERT.
PROKUPECZ: Yes, who deal with interviewing kids.
MCCABE: Sure. Yes.
PROKUPECZ: They sent them in to interview the kids to try an elicit specific information. But that's what's going on. There are more people being shot. That's what we're led to believe when you talk to the kids and the parents, because the gunman kept walking around. And the kids had to act as if they were dead, because they knew if he saw that they were alive, he was going to shoot them.
COATES: Remember that we had the one young girl who testify via video before Congress that she smeared the blood of a classmate and friend on her body to play dead. And the teacher who survived believing that the entire classroom was dead. We have still to reach the breach of that classroom with all those officers gathered and all these minutes. We'll be right back.
COATES: Seventy-seven minutes in Uvalde. Our tape is rolling. It's still rolling. it's been rolling. And in the minutes you missed, law enforcement failed to make entry and they have been talking in these groups that we're seeing.
Let's keep watching together with our experts. This is minute 55. Minute 55. Now, the idea of trying to penetrate, the idea of going in and trying to at least go into that classroom, there was obviously going to be a risk to the officers' lives. There was already risk and lives likely either lost or dying people, children, two teachers at least in the classroom. What do you make of this calculus of not even going in to try to get a shot off? MCCABE: There shouldn't have even been a calculus. Right? Every law
enforcement officer knows when they hold up the right hand and they are sworn in, they are accepting that risk that someday, God forbid, they might be in this situation or one very similar and they'll be called upon to put themselves in harm's way.
Watching this, Laura, I can't help but think back to, I think 10 days before this. We had the mass shooting at the tops grocery store in Buffalo and you had a retired police officer working as a security guard in that store who, wildly outgunned, with no body armor, went to the sound of the gun, addressed that gunman, fired some shots and lost his life as a result but probably saved other lives.
PROKUPECZ: He saved lives. Because what he was able to do and I was there and I covered that story, sadly, he was able to slowly -- slow the gunman down. And that gave police time and probably save a couple of lives. Because it just -- it slowed the gunman down. You kind of stop the momentum. Right?
We've been hearing a lot about momentum in these situations. the momentum. So, you slow the gunman down. The police have time, it gives them more time to get there and they can then neutralize the gunman. That we didn't have that here. We had none of that here. There was just -- they never tried to slow --
COATES: Wait a second. Wait a second. Are we seeing someone get hand sanitizer?
COATES: Now, maybe it's nerves or something. I --
RAMSEY: There is no explanation for any of this right now.
COATES: I can't believe that.
RAMSEY: I mean, look how they're just standing around in the hall. It wasn't long before it was as if they were afraid to even go into the hall to expose themselves. Now they're just standing around. And it's something like what Andy said earlier it's kind of like at the end of a training where everybody is just kind of standing around chatting or whatever.
I mean, there's no sense of urgency, there's no organization, there's no planning going on as to how they're going to make entry to take this guy out. I mean, what are they doing?
COATES: Well, that's, I mean, when you think about this as you all talk about, I mean, when I think about sort of the first responders, when we think about first responders, we think about those who run towards danger --
COATES: -- while everyone else is running away.
MCCABE: That's right.
COATES: At the beginning we saw a child see a gunman in the hallway and run away. No one will begrudge a child for running away. But I remember 9/11 as an example and seeing firefighters and first responders running into a building after one had collapsed. Even when they saw the collapsing, they would go in.
And we were looking at and it was the idea of selflessness that we expect of our first responders. The insult to injury, if you can add up the volumes of it, is the hand sanitizer in part, thinking about something like, I wonder if I have germs on my hands. There are children calling 911 --
RAMSEY: Pleading for help.
COATES: -- asking to come in because their teacher is alive.
RAMSEY: Laura, I've spent 47 years active service in policing. And I've seen officers put themselves in harm's way over and over again. I've seen them they've lost their lives putting themselves in harm's way.
My last eight years in Philadelphia I lost eight officers in the line of duty. In eight years five were shot to death. I mean, I've seen it my entire adult life I've seen this. This is not representative of what policing is really all about.
PROKUPECZ: That's absolutely right.
RAMSEY: So, when you ask, you know, what about this, there is no excuse for this. This guy should have been dead a long time ago, all right? They should have gone in there and taken him out, period. You've got the equipment. You've got everything you need. The only thing that's missing is the courage to do what you got to do.
PROKUPECZ: You talk to law enforcement officials. This is what you hear from them. It makes them mad that this happened. This is not representative of training, of what law enforcement is supposed to do. This is one of -- this will be one of the worst failures ever on the part of law enforcement. And so --
MCCABE: Far none.
PROKUPECZ: Far none.
MCCABE: And you know, one of the reasons why this is so shocking and so infuriating is because those of us in the community from the law enforcement community, we've seen -- we've seen the overwhelming examples that we've seen and experienced are the exact opposite of people running to the sound of the guns, running to danger, helping those around them willing to sacrifice themselves.
So, coming from that experience and watching this is absolutely --
COATES: Let me ask this question. We're one hour, two minutes, 54 seconds in approximately. We're keeping this in real-time as if it was happening. We're learning that they're saying that SWAT is on the way.
Andrew, you were a part of the SWAT team, when you get the call as SWAT team, because they weren't on the scene immediately. You get the call to be on and as SWAT team and you're supposed to respond to that. What are you expecting, what are the things that you would have expected to have already been done or attempted before they would call SWAT, or is it contemporaneous with the 911 call?
MCCABE: It is, you know, as soon as you get that call, you typically have all of -- all or most of your equipment with you 24 hours a day constantly because you're always waiting for that call, but you may not be close by.
You know, the fact that it took them 45 minutes an hour to get there, you know, this is a place, a very rural place.
MCCABE: Those folks could have been spread out all over, you know who knows how far away. That's why police officers, first responders have been trained since Columbine to not wait for SWAT. You should never have heard that radio call, wait for SWAT to arrive. No. You are here, you've got the long guns, you got the ballistic shields, there's 20 cops standing around in that hallway. Go down the hallway and do your job.
COATES: They've been trained since Columbine to do that?
RAMSEY: Since Columbine. That was 1999 --
COATES: Now just think about that. I was going to say. I mean, Sandy Hook has transpired --
RAMSEY: -- if I'm not mistaken.
COATES: I mean, and that was the process in Columbine, was to wait for SWAT, contain the area and wait for SWAT. And we said no, that's not what we do. And training changed after -- after Columbine.
MCCABE: A sea change in training.
PROKUPECZ: You know, it wasn't always, I don't think, that patrol officer -- patrol officers riding around with long guns. I think because of the active shooter training, that changed.
RAMSEY: Exactly right. PROKUPECZ: So, they said, OK, especially with some of the smaller police departments, you need to start training your officers with these long guns because of these situations. You know, your officer in this small police department may be the first officer on scene in a situation like this. And so, that officer needs to be ready to grab whatever gear they have in the car, and they should have the gear to clear --
MCCABE: We know. We know, Shimon, and you've seen this probably more than anyone. The majority of fatalities happen in the first few seconds. Certainly, in the first minute or two of an active shooting.
COATES: We heard more than 100 shots fired in under two minutes.
RAMSEY: There that's Halligan toll just walking down now. The Halligan tool is a pry tool. I've used it hundreds of times when I work on narcotics, ripping gates off doors and making forced entry and so forth.
COATES: But was the door locked? I mean, do we even know it was locked?
RAMSEY: No, it wasn't. But even if they didn't try the door, but it's logical to think that maybe you have to pry it open. Now, I don't know if that door opened out. It probably did, which means you have to pry it using a hammer against a door. You're going against the strength of the door, so you'd have to pry it.
PROKUPECZ: Can I just tell you something, that in like, the hours after this happened and I was on the ground, these are the questions I was asking the DPS, the Department of Public Safety, Texas DPS which was running this investigation and were the ones that were doing all of the communications.
And I kept asking them, was the door locked? How do you know the door wasn't locked? You know, what kind of door was it? Why couldn't they get in the door? And they kept saying, well, you know, maybe this and that. And then when you look at the video, they had all the answers.
MCCABE: Of course, it is.
PROKUPECZ: They have all the answers hours after this happened and they would not tell us the truth.
COATES: And they wouldn't tell -- I mean, do the families know the truth? That's what's infuriating I think for all of us looking here. I mean, we are sitting here we're analyzing, we're evaluating, we're thinking about all the reasons it's important to play this in its totality, not snippets, not sound bites, but to actually have people walk through as it happened the shooting at Robb Elementary that claimed so many lives.
And it's not just those that have lost their lives, there are survivors who have an unbelievable road ahead of them. An unbelievable road ahead of them. The psychological impact of this violence is unreal.
PROKUPECZ: But it's compounded, it's made worse by when they see this. When the kids they have to ask their mothers why didn't the police come and help us? That we heard them, they were outside our doors. Why didn't they help us?
RAMSEY: Listen, you see ballistic shields, you see Kevlar and helmets, you see level three and level four body armor on these people. They've, I mean, they got long guns. They've got everything they need. Right now, they're just standing around. And how many of those people, the 21 that died, bled to death while, you know, they're standing around not getting in there? If they had gotten medical attention, would they still be alive?
COATES: Well, we're going to talk about that, because I think they're doing some sort of triage at some point in the area building, something, I think. We're at an hour and four minutes, the last agonizing minutes before officers finally breach the classroom is coming up next. We'll be right back.
COATES: We still haven't gotten to that final 77th minute in Uvalde, but we are about to. During the commercial break, we know Uvalde schools police chief Arredondo was attempting to negotiate with the shooter.
Finally, and I mean finally, we're going to watch this to its conclusion. First of all, one thing that's important to think about here is how they're standing around. Based on what you've all said about the lack -- they're almost getting caught flat footed.
COATES: If he were to come out, what's going to happen?
RAMSEY: If he were to break out of that room, right, they'd all be dead. They'd be shooting each other and he'd be shooting them. I mean, look the way they're just standing around in a very lackadaisical way. You still have an active shooter inside of a classroom that you know is armed and armed with an assault weapon.
MCCABE: It's just a complete lack of discipline on the scene, a lack of organization. And all that comes down from a fundamental failure of leadership. There is no leadership on the ground. There's no tactical leadership on this.
COATES: Well, here's the thing. Go ahead. I just want to -- I mean, everyone is here.
PROKUPECZ: The EEMT. They -- I don't know (Inaudible), we were just talking about this.
PROKUPECZ: It appears this --
MCCABE: The guy in the black shirt with the stethoscope.
COATES: And the gloves.
PROKUPECZ: He appears to be an EMT but somehow, he is the one that's commanding these officers where to go, where to stand. Really bizarre. Just this is so bizarre and so painful. I know we keep saying this, but this is painful, painful to watch, because we know the end result.
COATES: And you were on the ground and you were asking these questions immediately. They had this tape. They had the information. They knew what was going on. But the EMT is there presumably to prepare for those lives --
PROKUPECZ: Yes, they should be there.
COATES: -- that they could actually saving.
COATES: And we know that so many were lost even in route to the hospital. One other thing that I want to point out here and thinking about is, we have been learning and hearing for more than a month now about one name, Arredondo. We have said repeatedly on our air waves, who else would have been responsible, who else would have been a part of trying to create that tactical leadership?
We have not gotten the names. We've heard about the notion of being an abject failure. They've pointed to simply the Arredondo team over everyone else. But look at all these different uniforms. This is not one cohesive unit. So, not -- are you guys, when you look at this as law enforcement in particular, is it odd that they would all be deferring to someone at the level of Arredondo? Where is their own agency leadership here?
RAMSEY: Well, under incident command, which is the way they should be organized at this point in time, when these other agencies would actually be under the command of the person in charge in ICS. That's why table top exercises are so important when you bring people together and you work through scenarios. That's the whole point of this.
So, yes, you could bring in a variety of agencies but if you're structured under incident command, then people know what their role is, they know who's in charge and who's in charge of what. And that --
PROKUPECZ: That's right. There was no incident command here. There was no -- so I want to a hearing when I was a few weeks ago where they were talking about school safety. And one of those leaders of this committee, a senior law enforcement official said none -- there was no command, incident command inside, but there was no incident command outside either. So basically no one was in charge. It was a free for all.
RAMSEY: Yes. Yes. A command post would have been established outside.
MCCABE: Of course. And that incident commander, which in this case would normally be Arredondo because he owns the turf. Right? He is the school police chief, we are in the school so by default he would be the incident commander, but he has the ability to delegate tactical command and things like that --
MCCABE: -- to other people. So once BORTAC arrives you would expect that the BORTAC --
COATES: What's BORTAC?
MCCABE: BORTAC, the Border Patrol SWAT team, those are the heavily armed well-equipped agents you saw coming about half hour in. It would be almost expected that they would take over the tactical planning and the execution of the --
PROKUPECZ: But you don't even need to wait for them. Because if you look here, there's a DPS, the Department of Public Safety, Texas DPS, they're already there.
MCCABE: That's right.
PROKUPECZ: You can see him there just right there in the hallway hiding behind that wall heavily armed. He's wearing a helmet, a ballistic helmet.
MCCABE: But let's get back to the original sin, which is we should never have gotten to this point.
RAMSEY: That's right. No.
MCCABE: Those first six officers should have gone in that -- gone in that room, suffered whatever return fire they got and taken out that -- taken out that killer first five minutes in, we're done.
COATES: You know, I have to wonder, because remember very early on we saw one of the officers who had the vest on, he had a tie. You all commented on the idea of maybe he was a detective or somebody who was in the area in some form of fashion. And he seems to hold the back of his head as if he had taken fire, or maybe been grazed in a way. He has another officer look at his head at one point to figure out if he's injured.
MCCABE: That's right.
COATES: I can't help but think, had the officer actually been injured, does the training then changed, or did the officer's response changed because now one of their own has been hit?
RAMSEY: Well, no. I mean, it shouldn't. I mean, listen, and he would not have to be the person to go back right away. They had sufficient resources there. He was not incapacitated. He was not incapacitated. But had he been injured --
COATES: But that's what I mean. Had he been, would that have changed it for the other officers?
RAMSEY: Well, you got other people that have to step up.
PROKUPECZ: Well, you set up for that. You prepare for that. There's a way to pull them out.
MCCABE: You pull that officer to safety --
MCCABE: -- you put him behind a position cover and then you go resume the fight. The bottom line is you have to address that threat.
COATES: You know, thinking about, I mean, the idea of pulling him out and what we're seeing, I mean, look at this. I'm hearing a lot of talking unlike the early on. I mean, you guys were talking about the idea of how, I mean, there was, it was almost like radio silent at first unless you heard the officer talking about his wife having been shot.
There's chatter, they're having conversations in the hallway. Wait, let's listen in. Hold on.
UNKNOWN: Everybody, go this way. Everybody (Inaudible).
UNKNOWN: Everybody, heads up.
COATES: So much to talk about. We have seen the full video, every moment that we have. You have now seen it as well. And we're going to talk about every aspect of it. But I first want to get a reaction from those who have seen it here at the table. What is your reaction after now having seen the full, complete video as we have it?
PROKUPECZ: I don't know. It's very hard for me to watch. I've watched this video several times, and each time it just gets, honestly it just gets harder and harder. And I wish that we would never see this again, but it's going to be an important tool for law enforcement. It is.
And it's going to change hopefully, and hopefully this never ever happens again. I am -- one of the things that struck me at the end, there was an officer at the end there, the hall there to the right and how emotional he was. And they have to -- and other officers had to restrain him.
And the other thing is I cannot even imagine when those doors open what those officers must have seen inside those classrooms.
RAMSEY: I agree. I mean, this is very difficult to watch. I mean, it's embarrassing to watch. We do have to take lessons from it, as hard as it is that these things can happen.
But my first reaction is a couple things. Number one, Arredondo and the acting chief of Uvalde that were there should never lead another agency at all ever again. And those officers who stood around while these kids were just dying, either being shot to death or just bleeding to death, need to turn in their badges. Because when the time comes to step up, that's part of the job. You've got to step up. I know it's not easy.
Listen, I've been shot at. I've been in three shootings in my career. It is not a good feeling and there's nothing wrong with being afraid. It's what you do in that moment that makes the difference. They didn't step up. They let everybody down, including themselves. I don't know how they live with it.
MCCABE: I agree with everything the commissioner said. You know, what we just witnessed was the inevitable result that should have happened an hour and a half earlier. What I cannot get past, Laura, is thinking about how many of those children, how -- and the teachers died during that hour and a half that they were standing in the hall doing nothing. We will never know, but it's almost guaranteed that an earlier action could have saved lives.
COATES: I mean, I'm just am struck as a mom. I remember when I first learned that I was pregnant and my father said, congratulations, you will have your heart live outside of your body for the rest of your days. Those are all of our children inside those classrooms. And the mothers and fathers outside, they deserve better. We'll be right back.
COATES: For all the insight that this heartbreaking video of Uvalde has given us about what unfolded that tragic day, we're left with more questions than answers. Shimon, Andy and Chief Ramsey are back with me.
And Chief Ramsey, I want to go to you on this, because I remember when you and I were covering the Derek Chauvin trial. One of the things you so poignantly said was the video of George Floyd being killed would change the future of law enforcement and the way people are trained.
COATES: You all have been in law enforcement and have had these extraordinary careers. Seeing what we've seen today, does this video become incorporated into the training of your officers going forward?
RAMSEY: I think it almost has to because I think it needs to be a reminder, you know, why it's so important to take action and take action immediately and not hesitate, not wait for some supervisor to tell you what to do. There's a reason why the training is what it is. And the training is good. They just didn't follow it. But there is excellent training for active shooters that are being taught to law enforcement around the country.
This is a perfect example of what not to do and why it's so important that those first few minutes, when you arrive, that's when you have to step up and you have to do what you have to do. Is it risky? Absolutely it's risky. Could some of those officers been seriously wounded or even killed? Yes. But they had more equipment and they had better protection than those kids and the teachers in that classroom.
COATES: And they relinquished control essentially to the shooter in a way by delaying all this time. I mean, he was able to do what he wanted to do. And you noted the idea of the power of the weapon. We heard those gunshots. And for our viewers, likely that many people are hearing the power and the frequency and the ability of those weapons to be able to fire off that many rounds in that amount of time. Tell me about the power of this type of weapon.
MCCABE: Sure. So an AR-15 shoots a bullet that's .223 caliber rifle round. That projectile exits the gun at about 3,000 feet per second. Which is, to put that in perspective, that's about three times faster than the normal bullet a police officer's pistol would shoot.
So, traveling at that velocity, the damage that that bullet can do to the human body, much less a fourth grader's body, is just devastating, it's absolutely devastating. Now combine that with the fact that the AR-15 is a semiautomatic rifle, which means you can fire bullets as quickly as you can pull the trigger. There's no hesitation. There's no, you know, pulling a bolt back and manually loading the next round. So, that's why that weapon is so unbelievably so devastatingly dangerous in a mass shooting situation.
PROKUPECZ: We have to remind folks where this was happening. This is a small room. It's two classrooms kind of adjoined. Not, there's no real place for these kids to defend themselves. You know, they're in this classroom trapped. The gunman is firing at them and not to be --
RAMSEY: He's walking around.
PROKUPECZ: And you know, this is graphic, but the kids are telling me that the parents of the kids that survived said they would see teeth. They saw teeth on the ground. That's how -- from the gunshot, from the wounds.
COATES: I mean, this is --
PROKUPECZ: There was so much blood. You talk about the smoke, the thing that the kids all remember is the smoke and the sound, the sound of the gunfire. The one Jayden who I interviewed said he was under the desk hiding with his hands over his ears because of the noise that was coming from the rifle and it was unbearable. It's so long to be trapped inside that room and the gunshots and the gunshots kept coming.
COATES: I mean, for so long. Think about this. We watched the entirety of a 77-minute reign of terror on human lives while we watched officers who we dial 911. The show began today, you know, as we were leading in from Anderson talking about the ability to have numbers to call if you wanted help. We know the number of 911. And they were on the scene. They weren't in route. They were there, Ramsey. They were actually there.
PROKUPECZ: Do you know the kids -- you know, for me obviously I've spent a lot of time with the kids and the families. But they showed more courage than these officers. Because you know what, they -- one of the things that the moms told me is that the kids that survived wish they could have helped their friends who died and they cannot get over it.
They tell their moms all the time, if only, we wanted to help them. All -- it's all of them. The kids who survived have to live with that, knowing they wanted to help their friends. The police are outside, police weren't helping, but we wanted to help.
RAMSEY: My first comment and I want to end it this way, too. This is not representative of policing in the United States. It just isn't. There's -- there's no excuse for what they did. But I have seen too many officers put themselves in harm's way with not even thinking about it. To look at this and then have people get the impression that this is now policing and this is how police are going to respond to active shooters or any other dangerous situation, it's just not true.
COATES: Andrew McCabe, Charles Ramsey, Shimon Prokupecz, we'll be back. Thank you so much. And for all that you and I have seen tonight, some have seen even more. The state senator who represents Uvalde is among the many still demanding answers is going to join me next.
COATES: The Texas House committee investigating the Uvalde school massacre plans to officially release the full 77-minute surveillance video that we showed you tonight on Sunday along with a report to victims' families. And as the community continues to grieve, it's also trying to figure out how to keep another tragedy like this from happening ever again.
I want to bring in Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez, whose district includes Uvalde. I'm very glad you're here, Senator.
But I have to ask you, I mean, you and I have had a conversation in the past even following what you have been doing, demanding the answers. This video, unbelievable to watch. You were a proponent of making sure people saw it in full, because you understood the need for people to fully understand just what happened here. What is your reaction to this video, these moments, 77 of them?
ROLAND GUTIERREZ (D), TEXAS STATE SENATOR: Well, Laura, like everybody that's seen this, it's just absolutely shocking and disgusting what we saw. However, there is still a lot that we haven't seen. This House committee interviewed 20 law enforcement witnesses, 17 civilian witnesses. That's it.
There were 360 cops on the scene, 91 from the Department of Public Safety, 12 of them were in that hallway, 12 DPS Troopers. And yet they're not on that video. You have 19 other body cams in that room and yet we only get to see one. We didn't get to see the body cam that was right outside of that room where he sheltered himself in with the kids, when he shot back at the first seven officers.
I saw this after the first week when I got in an argument with the PIO Officer at DPS. I went into their trailer, spoke to him, shut the door behind me and in front of me was nine Texas rangers viewing this video until I was discovered and asked to leave.
COATES: A week after, you saw this?
GUTIERREZ: You see from the -- after I saw this. I saw a body cam camera and you see sheet rock flying through at the officers as they are huddling to try to take cover. That is a very extreme power of this type of weaponry. Make no mistake, as strong and as powerful as that weaponry is, these officers failed in their mission. They failed in their training on what they're supposed to do in an active shooter situation.
COATES: You know, we were watching and thinking about all the different uniforms we saw, all the different agencies represented. You mentioned more than 300 officers collectively on the scene. We saw just a select few of them.
I want to play for you what Colonel McGraw had to -- McCraw had to say. He is a colonel with the Texas Department of Public safety and they report directly to the governor. He was speaking to the legislature and describing what he called, well, the response an abject failure. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN MCCRAW, DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: There's compelling evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary was an abject failure. Three minutes after the subject entered the west building, there was a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to isolate, distract and neutralize the subject.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: Now, we're hearing a lot about the name Chief Arredondo. His comment about abject failure seemed to be focused quite specifically on a certain agency, not the overall number of agencies there. Who do you think we need to get answers from, and why are we only hearing about one person? It seems to me the 300 officers or so on the scene have a lot of explaining to do.
GUTIERREZ: I think Steve McCraw needs to look in the mirror when he talks about abject failure. There was eight different law enforcement agencies just walking around, milling around, inspecting, waiting what to do. Not one radio worked inside that building. They were all in their phones. I'm not talking about the gentleman that was texting his wife, that she unfortunately succumbed.
I'm talking about everybody else that was on their phones. And those phones weren't working because they were just inoperable in there. And we can get into that story of neglect down the road. But there was one officer, and if you look at the back of his vest, he was being followed around by the body cam officer. Both of those were state employees.
That one officer, on the back of his vest it said Texas Ranger. And that Texas Ranger spent most of his time walking around that building, walking in that hallway talking to someone. So, someone was telling him what to do. Who was that person? I filed a lawsuit on August 4th we'll be in court to get the rest of the material that we've asked for so we that we can get to the bottom of what happened here.
Because I fear that what's happened in this 77-minute video has just opened more questions than answers.
COATES: State Senator Roland Gutierrez, thank you. And we'll keep an eye on that particular lawsuit as well. The answers are deserved for the families. Back with some final thoughts in just a moment, next. Thank you.
GUTIERREZ: Thank you.
COATES: I want to close tonight repeating our call for Uvalde officials to give us a full and accurate account of what happened at Robb Elementary.
Shimon Prokupecz is still with us today. And he was there. He's been there for two months. I mean, you have been the eyes and ears on the ground. You have been asking the questions. You have been persistent as always about trying to get the information.
The big question people have now of course, our thoughts are on these families. PROKUPECZ: Yes.
COATES: I mean, this coming Sunday was supposed to be the first day that they actually would see this video. It was released earlier this week. We're just playing it now as well. What was the family's reaction to having it already played? And what's going to happen this Sunday now?
PROKUPECZ: They're really upset. This Sunday, they're going to have the legislatures who are doing this investigation come in and take questions. I don't know how many family members are going to show up. They're so angry over how all of this has transpired, certainly this week with the video.
But I think, you know, one of the survivors, the kids that was in the classroom, little Jaden that I spoke to, I think, you know, his bravery and his words of wisdom in some ways and just talking about what happened kind of sums up, I think the way people there are kind of feeling. Listen to how he talks about that day.
JAYDEN PEREZ, UVALDE SHOOTING SURVIVOR: Me and my friend were scared, and we didn't want to talk or nothing. And we covered our ears so we won't hear the gunshots.
PROKUPECZ: You covered your ears? Were you hearing a lot of gunshots?
PEREZ: Me and my friend didn't have a lot of space, so we just tried not to move so he won't see us.
PROKUPECZ: And were you wondering what was going on, why you had to be there for so long?
PROKUPECZ: Do you feel comfortable talking about what happened, and is it helping you? Yes?
PEREZ: I feel a little bit happy because my friend are in a bet -- my friend and my cousin are in a better place.
PROKUPECZ: In a better place? Where?
PEREZ: In heaven.
PROKUPECZ: And this is a deeply religious community. And faith has really been helping them. And you know, you talk about answers, I think they're going to get them. I really do. I think the mayor in Uvalde he's taken a lot of heat, but I do believe he has taken -- he has turned on all of this and he really wants to fight and get information out. But he's been handcuffed by the district attorney there, and he's
concerned about releasing information because he is afraid that something is going to happen to him if he does. But I think in the end, I have faith, and I know it that the truth will come out, and we will get everything that we've asked for because we're going to continue to fight, and those families are going to continue to fight and we're going to get -- we're going to the truth in all of this in the end.
COATES: We have to. There is -- there's no alternative. I mean, the idea of this happening again. I'm thinking about the parents. What we're hearing, what we heard for 77 minutes, these are people's children who are waiting and the parents are there still fighting just like you.
Thank you, Shimon, for all that you've done, and thank you all for watching. I know it's been difficult. I'll be here Monday night. The CNN's Special Report, Saudi Arabia, kingdom of secrets, is next.