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Uvalde one year later: A look back at the moments during and after the massacre at an elementary school

It was just 77 minutes that changed the lives of those in Uvalde forever.

DALLAS — Time can be cruel. 

The families in Uvalde know this firsthand. 

They’ve had 365 days to pour over 77 minutes that changed their lives forever. 

At 11:28 a.m. on May 24, 2022, surveillance footage captured a man crashing his truck into a ravine near Robb Elementary School. 

He then ran towards the school firing his weapon.

Teacher Amy Marine, who was standing outside, saw what was happening. 

She ran inside and shut the door that had been propped open with a rock and called 911.

"Oh my God they’re running. I don’t know why. Oh my God he has a gun," shouted Marine.

The door she shut should have locked automatically -- but it didn’t.  

The gunman ran through that door seconds later and into classrooms 111 and 112.

Surveillance and body camera footage showed officers arrived within two minutes. 

Investigators said during that time the shooter fired off more than a hundred rounds with his AR-15 rifle. 

Two sets of officers arrived and entered the building from different directions.

School district police chief Pete Arredondo also entered the school. 

The gunman then shot at the officers. Two of them were grazed by bullets and retreated. Investigators found none of them shot back or attempted to take the shooter down. 

Experts said that was the first major failure.

The head of the Texas Department of Public Safety agreed.

His troopers were there, too.

"Clearly the failure right at the beginning was the inability of the officers on the scene to continue to engage the suspect until he is neutralized. If you don’t immediately confront an active shooter, lives are lost," said Col. Steve McCraw

More officers arrived from various agencies, including border patrol and DPS. 

Still, no one confronts the shooter.

According to the school police policy, Arredondo was supposed to be the man in charge.

He said he treated the situation like a standoff instead of an active shooter situation.

While they waited, a little girl called 911 pleading for help.

Body camera footage showed the acting police chief for the Uvalde Police Department, Lt. Mariano Pargas, was told about the little girl’s 911 call. 

Still, they waited.

More valuable time was wasted searching for a key to unlock the classroom door that was later determined to be unlocked. 

"No one performed the basic instructions needed to take command and control of that situation," said John Cohen, former acting Department of Homeland Security undersecretary. 

Forty-seven minutes after the little girl called 911 a border patrol tactical team finally entered the classrooms and killed the shooter.   

And with that, it took 77 minutes for law enforcement to end the threat -- 77 minutes with hundreds of officers waiting in the hallway.

Initially, Gov. Greg Abbott and DPS director McCraw praised the actions of the officers.

"They showed amazing courage by running towards gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives," said Abbott.

The governor later walked back the statement saying he had been misled.

Since the shooting, Arredondo continues to defend his actions saying he wasn’t in command and thought it was no longer an active shooter situation. 

Eventually, the school board fired him and disbanded the district’s police department.

The acting Uvalde police chief, Lt. Pargas, has resigned but was re-elected to the Uvalde County commissioner’s court. 

Meanwhile, the clock keeps ticking for the families -- one year of waiting for the district attorney’s office to present its investigation into law enforcement failures to a grand jury for possible criminal charges. 

"The consequences of police inaction at the scene is the whole point of the investigation that will go the grand jury," said Scott Durfee, Uvalde County special assistant district attorney

Of all the 376 officers involved, only one responding state trooper was fired, another resigned and a third is appealing his firing.

The actions of every officer that day are still being investigated, but it could be months before the public knows if anyone will be held accountable.

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