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The United States Department of Justice reported that it will review the police response to the mass shooting that took place at Robb Elementary School in Uvaldewhich claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers of the educational institution.
“At the request of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, the US Department of Justice will conduct a critical incident review of the law enforcement response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas on May 24,” Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement.
The investigation is intended to provide “an independent account of the actions and responses of law enforcement that day.and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events,” Coley explained.
Likewise, the mayor thanked the Department of Justice for accepting the request and added that “I am confident that the evaluation will be fair, transparent and independent.”
Texas state officials have provided information for three days, often contradictory and incomplete, about the 90 minutes between the time the shooter entered the school and Border Patrol entered the room and killed him.
At least 19 officers were outside in the hallway of classrooms in the attack for more than 45 minutes before officers used a master key to unlock the door and confront the gunman.said Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The commander, identified as Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, “was convinced at that time that there were no more threats to the children and that the subject was entrenched and that they had time to organize” to enter the classroomMcCraw said.
“Of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision,” McCraw told a news conference.
On the other hand, Rep. Val Demings, who was previously Orlando’s police chief before being elected to Congress, favored the federal review to determine what went wrong in the response to the Uvalde shooting.
“Since there were so many agencies involved on the ground, it’s important that we know what role each agency played,” he said in an interview.
“It’s important for us to know, was there any discussion about going in, those 19 officers who told us they were in the hallway, was there any discussion between other commanders from other departments? We must know the answers to those questions. And I think a federal investigation is certainly in order.”
For his part, Ronald Garza, Uvalde County Commissioner, welcomed the initiative to open the federal investigation when he was questioned about it before the Justice Department’s announcement.
“I think we need to learn more. As tragic as it sounds, we need to learn from this, you know, and parents deserve answers,” Brennan said.
When the investigation of the Department of Justice is finished, a report with the findings will be published.