UVALDE, Texas (NEXSTAR) — On almost every wall of Alfred Garza III’s home 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.
That caught him off guard and 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.
The Texas Capitol Correspondent Jala Washington for WFXR’s parent company, Nexstar, 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,” 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.