DOJ Announces Probe Into Police Response to Uvalde School Mass Shooting
Uvalde police are under fire for their delay in confronting 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, who entered Robb Elementary School through an unlocked door last Tuesday before killing 19 mostly Hispanic children and two teachers, in what became the deadliest school shooting in the state's history.
The US Department of Justice has announced the beginning of an investigation into how local police responded to the deadly mass shooting
that occurred at an elementary school in Uvalde last week.
Spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement on Sunday that at the request of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, the Department of Justice “will conduct a Critical Incident Review of the law enforcement response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24”.
Сoley explained that the review’s goal 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 spokesman, “the review will be conducted with the Department’s Office of Community-Oriented Policing”. He pledged that “as with prior Justice Department after-action reviews of mass shootings and other critical incidents, this assessment will be fair, transparent, and independent”.
Coley added that the Justice Department “will publish a report with its findings at the conclusion of its review”.
The statement came after Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, hinted on Friday that Uvalde police had made the “wrong decision” not to enter a classroom where the shooter was because they believed students were no longer at risk.
McCraw told reporters that the incident commander at the scene of the school shooting, Pete Arredondo, judged there was no longer an active shooter or threat to children. Arredondo believed the developments had transitioned to a hostage situation with time to wait for a tactical team to arrive, according to McCraw.
In a separate development on Friday, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott said that he had been misled about the police response to the shooting spree.
Abbott, who had initially praised the police response, pointed out that he was angry to find out that he had been given inaccurate information on the matter. The governor called for police actions to be "thoroughly” and “exhaustively" investigated.
The remarks followed officials arguing that 18-year-old shooter Salvador Ramos was in Robb Elementary School for 40 minutes to an hour before police began to storm the fourth-grade classroom where the killings occurred.
On Wednesday, the Texas Department of Public Safety said that as a result of the shooting rampage, 19 students and two adults had been killed by the shooter, who was then gunned down by police.
The carnage came 10 days after a deadly rampage at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket, where an 18-year old white gunman killed ten people and injured three more, almost all of them Black, in what officials branded an incident of “hate-filled domestic terrorism”.