Senior Justice Department officials — including Attorney General Merrick Garland — announced Wednesday that they have launched a review of the mass shooting incident at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
The purpose of the review is to provide an independent account of the actions and responses of law enforcement during the shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers. This is not a criminal investigation and will not result in any sanctions for Uvalde Police.
“Nothing can erase the pain inflicted on the loved ones of the victims, the survivors and the entire community of Uvalde,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. “But the Justice Department can and will use its expertise and independence to assess what happened and provide guidance moving forward.”
Since the May 24 shooting, residents of Uvalde and people across the country have criticized the response of law enforcement, which many have called too slow.
Law enforcement experts are already on the ground in Texas. They plan to review documents, interview law enforcement officers and consult with families of victims and survivors. In addition to reviewing policy, training, communications, deployment and incident command issues, reviewers will also review support and resources for families of survivors and victims.
The Department of Justice said the review will be used to identify lessons learned, help develop best practices for first responders and define measures for safety and community engagement before, during and after shootings. .
There is no fixed timeline for the process, but the ministry said it would move “as quickly as possible” in developing a report to be released upon completion.
Experts tapped to conduct the review include retired public safety officials from places that have experienced mass shootings, such as Virginia Tech and Orange County, Fla., as well as an FBI unit chief .