Uvalde Officer Looking at His Phone Confirmed To Be Husband of Slain Teacher
Following the release of the 77-minute surveillance footage documenting the Uvalde Police Department’s response to the Robb Elementary massacre, many viewers singled out a cop who was looking at his phone as children and teachers were being murdered not 100 feet away.
For many, the fact that this officer also had a Punisher-themed background only added insult to injury.
Now, the officer has been identified as Ruben Ruiz, the husband of slain teacher Eva Mireles — the same teacher who texted her husband to let him know she’d been shot and was dying, according to KSAT.
Although there’s no way of confirming this until more information is brought to light, some viewers speculate that this moment captured on camera was actually Ruiz checking his phone after receiving the text from Mireles.
The timeline would match up, as Ruiz checks his phone roughly three minutes after shooter Salvador Ramos began firing but there’s no way to know for certain without having access to either Ruiz’s or Mireles’ phone records, which may or may not be made available to the public in the coming weeks or months.
Texas Rep. Joe Moody ardently defended Ruiz on Twitter in a thread where he corroborates the initial claim from Uvalde PD that Ruiz attempted to save Mireles before being detained and disarmed.
This is where, for some viewers, things get a little fishy. Although many have supported Ruiz as another victim of Uvalde PD’s incompetence during the Robb Elementary mass shooting, a vocal minority has pointed out the fact that Ruiz is never seen storming the classroom, being detained or being disarmed and removed from the building.
The basis for this claim, labeled by some as a fringe conspiracy theory, comes not only from the footage but from conflicting statements offered by Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and Rep. Moody.
“What happened to him, is he tried to move forward into the hallway,” said McCraw. “He was detained and they took his gun away from him and escorted him off the scene.”
Where McCraw says that Ruiz attempted to engage the shooter only to be disarmed and removed from the scene, Moody claims that Ruiz was disarmed and detained after he was escorted from the scene. But, again, the full 77-minute video doesn’t appear to show either of those things happening.
Ruiz is seen checking his phone at 11:36:50 a.m. He then checks his phone again at 11:37:17 a.m. Ruiz then waits at the back of the hallway while another officer makes his way towards the classrooms at 11:38:00 a.m. Soon after, Ruiz walks off-camera but can be seen briefly at 11:40:50 a.m. in the corner of the frame, still armed.
This is the last time Ruiz is seen on camera. At no point does Ruiz rush the hallway, attempt to engage or appear to be detained and disarmed. Moody is correct in his assertion that “context matters,” but the context here seems to directly negate each one of his claims.
What’s even more confusing is the fact that an unarmed Uvalde mother was able to rush the building and save entire classrooms of children, but a dozen or more armed officers remained in place as the shooter murdered 19 children and two teachers in cold blood. The mother in question says she’s faced harassment and intimidation from Uvalde PD in the weeks following the shooting.
The New York Post confirms that despite the claim that Ruiz was escorted off the premises, no person or law enforcement agency has come forward to confirm that they did so. Ruiz himself has also been curiously absent from the subsequent investigations, hearings and town hall meetings.
People quotes Uvalde County Judge Bill Mitchell, who was talking to reporters at the time, as saying, “She’s in the classroom and he’s outside. It’s terrifying,” based on a briefing by the Uvalde Sheriff’s Department. It is also important to note that, like everyone else involved with the investigations, Mitchell also declined to name or identify any people involved with this decision.
It’s possible that the public distrust of Uvalde PD is contributing to these claims, but the footage and the statements don’t match up.
There’s still a lot to learn about Uvalde PD and what appears to be an attempted cover-up of the department’s conduct during and after the Robb Elementary massacre.