UVALDE, Texas –
A Uvalde police officer who was criticized over video of him checking his phone during the massacre at Robb Elementary School is the husband of a teacher who was killed in the classroom and had contacted him after being shot, according to a Texas lawmaker , who investigated the shooting.
Texas State Rep. Joe Moody came to defend Ruben Ruiz after the officer was singled out by some social media users as an example of the confusing passivity on the part of the police during the May 24 attack.
About 80 minutes of surveillance video released this week by the Austin American-Statesman showed Ruiz as one of the first officers to arrive in the hallway after the shooting began. He checks his phone moments before officers closer to the classroom run back down the hallway after shots are fired.
Moody tweeted Wednesday that the officer was the husband of Eva Mireles, one of two teachers killed along with 19 children in fourth-grade classrooms. Moody is part of a committee in the Texas House that has spent weeks investigating the shooting and plans to publish the results Sunday.
“I had not planned to speak in public before the report was released, but I could not say anything as this man, who has lost everything, was insulted as if he was indifferent or actively malicious. Context matters.” Moody tweeted.
The aisle video shows Ruiz quickly looking at his phone around 11:36 a.m. while holding a position at the end of the hallway. Three minutes earlier, the gunman was seen walking down the hall and entering the classroom.
Authorities have previously said that body camera footage later showed that Ruiz at. 11:48 entered the building through the west door and told officers, “She’s been shot.”
“What happened to (Ruiz) is that he was trying to move forward in the hallway, he was detained, and they took his gun away from him, and they escorted him from the scene,” the Texas Department of Public Safety director said. , Steve McCraw, to lawmakers at a June 21 hearing.
McCraw has called it an “absorbing failure” that police eventually waited more than an hour before confronting the gunman.
“We want a lot to say about the police response, but no criticism of this officer,” Moody tweeted.