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DOJ to Launch Inquiry Into Chaotic Police Response to Uvalde Shooting

  • The Department of Justice is launching a federal probe into the Robb Elementary School shooting.
  • The AP reported that the review is aimed at determining how law enforcement responded to the shooting.
  • City and state officials have changed details in the timeline of the massacre at least 13 times.

The Justice Department is launching a probe into the law enforcement response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 children and two teachers dead, the Associated Press reported.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday that the review would be led by a team of nine, including ex-police chiefs and an FBI official.

“We will be assessing what happened that day,” Garland said during a press conference. “We will be doing site visits to the school, we will be conducting interviews of an extremely wide variety of stakeholders, witnesses, families, law enforcement, government officials, school officials, and we will be reviewing the resources that were made available in the aftermath.”

The review will look into the law enforcement training and policies that were in place, as well as the communications that transpired between law enforcement officials, during the day of the mass shooting. 

The DOJ has launched similar probes after mass shootings in San Bernardino, California in 2015 and after the 2016 anti-LGBTQ mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which left 49 people dead, according to the AP.

Garland said Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin requested the review and that the focus will also be to understand who was in charge of the tactical response on the day of the shooting.

Texas law enforcement officials who responded to the attack have also broadly faced criticism for allegedly not entering classrooms where the shooter killed students, instead remaining in hallways. Officials from the city to state level have changed details in the timeline of the massacre at least 13 times.

Uvalde School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo has been identified as the officer in charge during the day and presided over a series of costly missteps on the day of the shooting, including reports that he made the decision to not engage the shooter while he was inside the school for almost 80 minutes.

According to the New York Post, McLaughlin refused to say on Tuesday whether he had confidence in Arredondo, who has been under fire over the police response to the shooting, after initially backing him.

Arredondo was sworn in as a Uvalde city council member a week after the shooting and did not show up for a meeting about the shooting on Tuesday.

The Uvalde Mayor’s office and Uvalde School District did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for information.

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