The Department of Justice is launching an investigation into law enforcement’s response to the Uvalde, Texas school shooting.
DOJ spokesman Anthony Coley said, “The goal of the review is to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events.”
According to the DOJ, Uvalde’s Mayor Don McLaughlin requested the department investigate the matter after local and federal authorities gave conflicting accounts of what took place on May 24, 2022.
“At the request of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, the U.S. Department of Justice will conduct a Critical Incident Review of the law enforcement response…as with prior Justice Department after-action reviews of mass shootings and other critical incidents, this assessment will be fair, transparent, and independent,” said Coley.
Last month, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos carried out a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, killing 19 students and two teachers using an AR-15 style semi-automatic weapon, the Associated Press reported.
According to the Texas Tribune, authorities published multiple contradicting statements after the tragedy that only frustrated the victims’ families and the Uvalde community. Officials stated a Robb Elementary School resource officer interacted with the shooter before entering the building. However, it was later confirmed that there was not a school resource officer on the school’s premises at the time of the shooting.
Law enforcement authorities also confirmed that at least forty minutes passed as nearly two dozen officers were in a hallway waiting for a janitor to unlock the door to a classroom where the shooter barricaded himself, The Hill reported.
It took about an hour before a Customs and Border Protection tactical team fatally wounded Ramos, Politico reported.
Texas Department of Public Safety director, Steven McCraw admitted that responding officers should not have waited such a long time before confronting the gunman, according to The Hill.
“From the benefit of hindsight, where I’m sitting now, of course, it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. There’s no excuse for that,” McCraw said.