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Justice Department to review law enforcement response to Uvalde school shooting

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Justice Department to review law enforcement response to Uvalde school shooting
The U.S. Department of Justice said Sunday that it will review how law enforcement responded to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 children and two adults were killed. File Photo by Tannen Maury/EPA

May 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Justice on Sunday announced it will conduct a review of the law enforcement response to the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley said in a statement that the review into the shooting at Robb Elementary School in which 19 children and two adults were killed on Tuesday will be conducted at the request of Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin.

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"The goal of this 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," Coley said.

Texas state Sen. Ronald Gutierrez told CNN's State of the Union Sunday that mistakes made by law enforcement, including delaying entering the building, "may have led to the passing away of these children as well."

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"I'm disgusted by all of it," he said. "I understand the human condition, the notion that this other guy might have superior firepower. But, at the end of the day, the protocols were breached. The active shooter protocols dictate that you go in."

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said during a news conference Friday that he was "misled" about the police response to the shooting, while Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw said that police made the "wrong decision" not to immediately breach the Robb Elementary School classroom where the gunman barricaded himself and killed students and teachers.

Gutierrez said he also spoke with McCraw, stating that he was "devastated" while also acknowledging that errors were made in the response.

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"What I have suggested to him is that it's not fair to put it on the local ISD cop," he said. "At the end of the day, everybody failed here. We failed these children. We even failed them in the Texas legislature."

U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., said that Congress "must demand" an FBI investigation into the incident.

"Since there were so many agencies involved on the ground, it's important that we know what role every agency played," she said. "It's important that we know, was there any discussion about going in, those 19 officers who we're told were in the hallway, were there any discussions between other commanders from other departments? We must know the answers to those questions. And I think a federal investigation is certainly in order."

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