Justice Department to review law enforcement response to mass shooting in Uvalde

The Justice Department announced on Sunday that it would conduct a critical incident review of law enforcement’s response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

The review, which is being undertaken to the rest of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, is tasked with providing “an independent account of the actions and responses of law enforcement that day, and identifying lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events,” Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement.

Texas authorities spent three days providing often conflicting and incomplete information about the 90 minutes elapsed between the time the shooter entered the school and the time U.S. Border Patrol agents unlocked the classroom door and killed him. Law enforcement officers from local, state and federal entities responded to the Uvalde shooting,

Nearly 20 officers stood in the hallway outside the classrooms during the attack on Robb Elementary School for more than 45 minutes before officers used a master key to open a door and confront the shooter, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steven McCraw said at a press conference on Friday.

Officers at the scene of a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas
Children flee the scene of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022.

Pete Luna/Uvalde Leader-News

The on-scene commander “was satisfied at the time that there was no longer a threat to the children and that the subject was barricaded and they had time to organize themselves” to enter the classroom, said McCraw.

“Of course it was the wrong decision. It was the wrong decision,” McCraw told reporters.

Earlier Sunday, Rep. Val Demingswho was Orlando’s police chief before being elected to Congress, favored a federal investigation to determine what was wrong with Uvalde’s response.

“As there were so many agencies involved on the ground, it’s important that we know what role each agency played,” she told ‘Face the Nation’ moderator Margaret Brennan. “It is important for us to know, were there any discussions about entering, these 19 offices that we are told were in the hallway, were there any discussions between other commanders of other departments? We need to know the answers to those questions. And I think a federal investigation is certainly in order.”

Uvalde County Commissioner Ronald Garza welcomed the idea of ​​a federal investigation when asked about it hours before his announcement. “I think we need to know more. As tragic as it sounds, we need to learn from this, you know, and parents deserve answers,” he told Brennan on ‘Face the Nation.’

Once the Justice Department completes the review, it will release a report with its findings.

Jeff Pegues contributed to this report.

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