DOJ to investigate police response to Uvalde shooting

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin requested a 'Critical Incident Review'

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The U.S. Department of Justice announced Sunday that it is conducting an investigation into the law enforcement response to the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

"At the request of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, the U.S. Department of Justice will conduct a Critical Incident Review of the law enforcement response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24," spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement.

A memorial is seen surrounding the Robb Elementary School sign following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 26, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas.

A memorial is seen surrounding the Robb Elementary School sign following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 26, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

"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. The review will be conducted with the Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing," Coley continued.

"As with prior Justice Department after-action reviews of mass shootings and other critical incidents, this assessment will be fair, transparent, and independent," he added. "The Justice Department will publish a report with its findings at the conclusion of its review."

US President Joe Biden pays respect at a makeshift memorial outside of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 29, 2022.

US President Joe Biden pays respect at a makeshift memorial outside of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 29, 2022. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

The review comes amid mounting scrutiny into the law enforcement response to Tuesday's shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead at Robb Elementary School.

Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Friday that the chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District made the call to not let officers into the classroom where the suspect, Salvador Ramos, because he believed Ramos had barricaded himself and was no longer a threat to children. 

While police officers followed Ramos into the building within two minutes of the attack, another 47 minutes passed before a Border Patrol tactical team breached the door and killed Ramos, McCraw said. 

Director and Colonel of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steven C. McCraw listens during a press conference outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 27, 2022.

Director and Colonel of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steven C. McCraw listens during a press conference outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 27, 2022. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

McCraw said teachers and children repeatedly called 911 asking for help as Ramos carried out the attack. 

"Of course it was not the right decision," McCraw said. "It was the wrong decision."

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McCraw did not call out the chief of police, Peter Arredondo, by name.

A Critical Incident Review is somewhat rare and most after-action reports that come after a mass shooting are generally compiled by local law enforcement agencies or outside groups.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.