Justice Dept to review law enforcement response to Uvalde mass shooting

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

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

Texas authorities spent three days providing often contradictory and incomplete information about the 90 minutes that have passed between the time the gunman entered the school and when 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 more than 45 minutes before officers used a master key to open a door and confront the gunman, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said at a news conference Friday.

Cops at scene of school shooting in Uvalde, Texas
Children run away from the scene of the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022.

Pete Luna/Uvalde Leader-News


The commander on the scene “at the time was convinced there was no more threat to the children and the subject had been barricaded and they had time to organize” to get into the classroom, McCraw said.

“Of course it wasn’t the right 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 went wrong in Uvalde’s response.

“Because there were so many agencies involved, it’s important that we know the role each agency played,” she told Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan. “It’s important that we know if there was any discussion about going in, those 19 offices that we were told were in the hallway, were there discussions between other commanders from other departments? We need to know the answers to those questions. And I think a federal investigation is definitely in order.”

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

Once the Justice Department has completed its investigation, it will publish a report detailing its findings.

Jeff Pegues contributed to this report.

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