Video of Uvalde shooting scene captured cop checking phone after dying wife called him: Official

Officer Ruben Ruiz's wife, Eva Mireles, was killed in the attack.

July 14, 2022, 7:18 PM

While a leaked video showing the slow law enforcement response to a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, has caused anger in the community, it also captured a moment of agony for a police officer whose wife was killed in the attack.

The security footage that aired this week on television and online by ABC affiliate KVUE in Austin and the Austin American-Statesman recorded Officer Ruben Ruiz, a member of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police force, checking his cellphone after his wife, teacher Eva Mireles, contacted him to say she had been shot and was dying, officials said.

Texas state Rep. Joe Moody publicly identified Ruiz as the officer checking his phone in the video after the officer was criticized by some social media users as an example of the May 24 law enforcement response that Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, has described as an "abject failure."

PHOTO: Officer Ruben Ruiz checks his phone during in the hallway of Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022. Authorities said Ruiz had been texting with his wife, Eva, as she was trapped in the classroom, wounded and dying.
Video footage leaked to two Texas news outlets showed Officer Ruben Ruiz checking his phone during in the hallway of Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022. Authorities said Ruiz had been texting with his wife, Eva, as she was trapped in the classroom, wounded and dying.
Obtained by KVUE

Moody took to Twitter on Wednesday to inform the public that Ruiz was the husband of Mireles, one of two teachers killed along with 19 children at the school.

Moody is part of a joint committee of the Texas Legislature that has spent weeks investigating the mass shooting and is set to meet on Sunday with the loved ones of those killed and release a report of its findings.

Uvalde:365 is a continuing ABC News series reported from Uvalde and focused on the Texas community and how it forges on in the shadow of tragedy.

"I'd not planned to speak publicly until the report was released, but I couldn't say nothing seeing this man, who has lost everything, maligned as if he was indifferent or actively malicious. Context matters," Moody tweeted.

Ruiz was among the first officers to charge into the school three minutes after the suspect wielding an AR-15-style rifle entered the school unabated through an unlocked door.

PHOTO: Eva Mireles, 4th Grade Teacher at Robb Elementary and victim in the school shooting on May 24, 2022, is pictured in an undated family photo.
Eva Mireles, 4th Grade Teacher at Robb Elementary and victim in the school shooting on May 24, 2022, is pictured in an undated family photo.
Courtesy Lydia Martinez Delgado

While testifying before a Texas state Senate committee on June 21, McCraw said that Ruiz tried to save his wife, but was barred from doing so.

"We've got an officer, Officer Ruiz, whose wife called in and said she'd been shot and she was dying," McCraw told the state Senate committee. "What happened to him was he tried to move forward in the hallway. He was detained, and they took his gun away from him and escorted him off the scene."

One of the children in Mireles classroom called 911 during the rampage and pleaded with a dispatcher, "Send help for my teacher, she is shot but still alive."

Police eventually breached the classroom and killed the gunman 77 minutes after he entered the school, but it was too late to save Mireles and the 20 other victims, officials said.

Mireles was a fourth-grade teacher at the elementary school, relatives told ABC News. She had been a teacher in the school district for approximately 17 years, the family said.

Amber Ybarra, a cousin of Ruiz, called Mireles a "hero" and an "amazing mom."

"She was just very adventurous and courageous and vivacious and could light up a room," Ybarra told ABC News. "She's going to be missed."

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