The US Department of Justice has announced it will investigate law enforcement’s response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde after witness reports painted a troubling picture of police’s response to the incident which left 19 children and two teachers dead. A DOJ spokesman announced the probe on Sunday.
Requested by Uvalde mayor Don McLaughlin, the review aims 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 a statement from DOJ spokesman Anthony Coley. The agency will publish its conclusions after the review is complete.
The alleged shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, entered the building through an unlocked door and spent more than an hour inside shooting 19 children and two teachers as law enforcement officers waited outside.
Some parents, horrified by the officers’ inaction while precious minutes were lost, were actually handcuffed, when they tried to rush into the school to save the children themselves. At least one Border Patrol officer reportedly ran inside to rescue his own child before the shooter was killed, raising questions about why others were not rescued at the same time.
At the same time, some 19 officers were actually inside the building, standing outside the fourth-grade classroom where Ramos had reportedly barricaded himself. Rather than break down the door themselves, they waited for more than an hour after gunfire began for the school janitor to arrive with a key. At least one child inside a classroom where students were being killed called 911 and begged for police assistance.