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Justice Department to review law enforcement response to school shooting

The critical incident review comes after Uvalde police admitted a string of failures.

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department will conduct a review of the law enforcement response to the deadly mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a spokesperson announced Sunday.

The critical incident review, requested by Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, will include a report on law enforcement actions on May 24, the day of shooting. The report will be conducted by the department's Office of Community Oriented Policing.

“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," Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement.

“As with prior Justice Department after-action reviews of mass shootings and other critical incidents, this assessment will be fair, transparent, and independent."

Law enforcement personnel stand outside Robb Elementary School following a shooting on May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.
Law enforcement personnel outside Robb Elementary School after a shooting May 24 in Uvalde, Texas.Dario Lopez-Mills / AP

Local police have admitted to a number of failures in responding to the shooting, which left 21 people dead, including 19 children.

Steve McCraw, director of the state's Department of Public Safety, said Friday that police made the "wrong decision" by waiting to confront the shooter.

“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. “There were plenty of officers to do what needed to be done, with one exception, is that the incident commander inside believed he needed more equipment and more officers to do a tactical breach at that time."

The admission came after days of inconsistencies and a confusing timeline of law enforcement's response.

Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., was a police chief in Orlando, said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" that there must be a "thorough and complete investigation" of what happened.