The Justice Department is conducting a “critical incident review” of law enforcement’s response to the Uvalde school shooting at the request of the city’s mayor, spokesperson Anthony Coley said Sunday.
“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,” the statement said. “The review will be conducted with the Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing.”
The DOJ will publish a report after the review.
Police response to the Robb Elementary School shooting has drawn outrage and criticism after officials have repeatedly changed their stories, and details emerged showing that the shooter was inside the school for as long as 90 minutes before law enforcement entered the classroom.
All the while, children inside were repeatedly calling 9-1-1, begging for help.
At least nineteen children and two adults were killed.
On Friday, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw acknowledged that officers made “the wrong decision” in waiting so long to breach the classroom, though said that they believed there were “no kids at risk” — an assertion hard to square with the calls.
State law enforcement has muddied the timeline and repeatedly contradicted themselves, including on key facts like whether an officer at the school “engaged” the shooter before he entered the building. As recently as Wednesday, that initial officer was still part of the story; by Thursday, officials said there was no officer at the school when the shooter arrived.
One parent, Angeli Rose Gomez, told the Wall Street Journal that she was handcuffed, and other parents pinned to the ground or pepper sprayed as they tried to storm the building. Gomez said that she eventually got free of her restraints and ran into the school to get her children.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden spent Sunday in Uvalde at a memorial for the victims and attended mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church alongside parishioners. It’s the President’s second trip in as many weeks to grieve with communities torn apart by mass shootings; on May 17, he traveled to Buffalo, New York after 10 people were killed in a grocery store.