WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — The Justice Department will begin to review the police department’s response to the deadly Uvalde school shooting that left 19 children and two adults dead, a spokesperson for the department said on Sunday.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin requested the review, which will include a full detailed account of the actions of the police department on May 24, the day of the shooting.
“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.”
The news comes with frustration mounting after authorities admitted to a string of failures in responding to the Uvalde school shooting, including 47 minutes went by without police engaging the gunman and only did so at 12:50 p.m. when the classroom the gunman was shooting in was breached using keys from a janitor.
Steve McCraw, director of the state’s Department of Public Safety, said Friday that police made the “wrong decision” by waiting to engage 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 just one day after governor Greg Abbott said a school resource officer “engaged with” the gunman prior to entering the building.
“Investigators need to get to the very seconds of exactly what happened with 100 percent accuracy and explain it to the public and most importantly to the victims who have been devastated,” Abbott said.
McLaughlin, who earlier this week called Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke a “son of a bitch”, said he was just as shocked as Abbott over the changing of stories from the police.
“I’ve been just as confused as you are because … I got the same information that the governor got,” McLaughlin said.