DOJ opens probe into school shooting response — Analysis

Multiple agencies have criticized law enforcement’s handling of Uvalde elementary school tragedy

The US Department of Justice has announced it will investigate law enforcement’s response to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde after witness reports painted a troubling picture of police’s response to the incident which left 19 children and two teachers dead. The probe was announced by a spokesperson for the DOJ on Sunday.

Don McLaughlin (mayor of Uvalde) requested the review. “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,”According to a statementAnthony Coley, spokesperson for the DOJ. The agency will publish the results of its review once it is completed.

Salvador Ramos (18 years old), entered the structure through an unlocked entrance and spent nearly an hour inside, shooting 19 children as well as two teachers, while officers waiting outside waited.

Some parents, horrified by the officers’ inaction while precious minutes were lost, were actually handcuffed, when they tried to rush into the school to save the children themselves. According to reports, at least one Border Patrol officer ran in the direction of his child to save him before the shooter died. This raises questions as why other officers were not saved simultaneously. 

Some 19 officers stood outside of the fourth-grade classroom Ramos had apparently barricaded himself in, while they were inside. They waited more than an hour for the school’s janitor with a key to come by, rather than attempting to open the door. One child in a classroom that was being attacked by gunfire called 911 to request assistance.

Texas cops did ‘nothing’ to stop school shooter – parents

In 1999 Columbine, the school shooting protocols required that police officers face attackers immediately. Ramos’s arrest by Uvalde police officers was delayed until reinforcements were available. It is unclear why. The delay becomes increasingly difficult to explain taking into account the more recent revelation that a witness had called 911 before Ramos even entered the campus, having spotted the teen carrying a gun towards the school after crashing his grandmother’s pickup truck into a ditch.

Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety Steven McCraw finally acknowledged on Friday that officers were wrong to wait so long after the start of Ramos’ rampage to confront him. “From the benefit of hindsight, where I’m sitting now, of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong choice. There’s no excuse for that,”He said.

Police held back feds from charging school shooter – media

John Cohen, an ex-chief of counterterrorism at the Department of Homeland Security was critical of the government’s response. “failure,”Statement “we had people potentially die while law enforcement was on scene.”According to a Customs and Border Protection official, more than 100 federal agents responded to the shooting.

“When you put on that badge, you make a commitment to safeguard the community and protect those who cannot protect themselves,”Cohen added that “on that day, law enforcement failed.”



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