US Department of Justice cites ‘serious failures’ in response to Uvalde school shooting

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Written by Andrew Godward

(Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department found “serious failings” in the belated police response to the 2022 Uvalde, Texas, school shooting that killed 19 children and teachers, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Thursday.

The report details the findings of the department’s “serious incident review” of the law enforcement response, a review that began days after the shooting at the request of the Uvalde mayor.

The police response to the massacre at Rupp Elementary School has come under fire after reports that law enforcement waited in the hallway for more than an hour while the gunman remained barricaded in a classroom and students made panicked 911 calls.

Eventually, a tactical team led by the US Border Patrol stormed the classroom and killed the gunman.

A July 2022 report by Texas state lawmakers described an “atmosphere of chaos” at the scene and concluded that law enforcement “failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their safety.”

The Justice Department’s review aims to provide independent analysis and identify lessons learned for authorities in responding to other mass shootings. The department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services led the evaluation with outside experts in emergency management, active shooter response and school safety.

(Reporting by Andrew Godward; Editing by Scott Malone and Alastair Bell)

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