How Can We Even Process the Footage From the Uvalde School Shooting?
It will probably stay with me for the rest of my life.
Ahead of the scheduled release of footage from within the school during the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two of their teachers slaughtered, The Austin American-Statesman and its television partner, KVUE, published some of the video.
After making the mistake of watching it before I went to bed last night, needless to say I barely slept.
I’ve been a writer for twenty years. As I’ve said before, it is my outlet of choice. It has always been the best way for me to articulate what I’m feeling, and how I am the most comfortable doing so. It gives me clarity, catharsis, and healing. It is how I process the events of the world around me. But when it comes to that video footage from Uvalde… “processing” doesn’t even seem possible.
Obviously I tossed and turned all night after watching it. I laid awake regretting the fact that I hadn’t waited until morning, thinking at times how strange the mind is, and becoming convinced that the certain details mine had fixated on were never, ever going to leave my mind.
Personally, I will never forget the shooter’s walk.
We all saw the image grabbed from an onlooker’s recording of him running into the building, but after seeing the footage I’ll never forget how calm he was the moment he went in. It was probably one of if not the most chilling thing I have ever seen in my entire life. So nonchalant, like it was just another day. He paused for the briefest of moments in the hall, too, just looking around as though he had simply gotten distracted by something on the wall on his way to class.
Then there was the hair flip. The f*cking hair flip.
Less than ten seconds before opening the door of a classroom and unloading a barrage of bullets into a room full of ten year olds and their teachers, the shooter casually brushed the hair out of his eyes as he walked.
And then…the police response.
Oh, the officers were there just moments later as we all know, stopping in the hallway. But what we didn’t know was that they literally ran…