Texas school shooting: Multiple 911 calls, commander made ‘wrong decision’ (NCD)
UVALDE, Texas — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Sunday that it will review law enforcement’s response to the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 students and two teachers.
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“At the request of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin, the U.S. Department of Justice will conduct a critical incident review of law enforcement’s response to the mass shooting in Uvalde,” the Justice Department said in a statement Sunday. “The goal of the review is to provide an independent report on law enforcement’s actions and responses on the day and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events.”
The deadliest school shooting in more than a decade was riddled with conflicting official accounts of how it unfolded.
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Demands for accountability mounted Saturday after officials admitted law enforcement officers in Uvalde waited too long before bursting into the classroom at Robb Elementary School, the Washington Post reported.
“Everyone is frustrated by the failure of what happened,” Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez told CNN on Saturday. “No church anywhere in the United States should have to deal with it.”
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According to a timeline provided by Texas Department of Public Safety chief Steven McCraw, 70 minutes elapsed between the initial call to 911 and police’s final confrontation with 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said the review would be conducted in a fair, impartial and independent manner, The Associated Press reported. Coley said the results would be made public.
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As of Friday, authorities acknowledged that students and teachers repeatedly called 911 operators for help, while the police chief asked more than a dozen officers to wait in a hallway at Robb Elementary School. Officials said he believes the suspect has been barricaded in adjacent classrooms and there is no longer an active attack.
In addition to the 21 people killed at the school, 17 others were injured by Ramos, including three police officers, according to the Post. Officials said Ramos entered the school building “unhindered” through an unlocked door, KSAT-TV reported. He was eventually killed by police more than an hour later.
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President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visited Uvalde on Sunday and laid white roses at the makeshift memorial in front of the school. The Bidens then attended mass at a local Catholic church, according to the AP. He was also scheduled to meet with family members at a community center and then first responders at the local airport before returning to Washington, the White House said.
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