AG Merrick Garland, Justice Department announce team to conduct review of Uvalde mass shooting

Investigation will examination of police policies, training and communication

Students flee and authorities help others evacuate after a gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24, 2022. (Courtesy Of Pete Luna/Uvalde Leader-News, Courtesy Of Pete Luna/Uvalde Leader-News)

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced a nine member team that will conduct a critical incident review of the mass shooting in Uvalde.

Exactly two weeks ago, 19 students and two teachers were killed when an 18-year-old entered Robb Elementary and then opened fire. Since that time, authorities say both law enforcement and Texas officials have struggled to give accurate details.

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Garland said the critical incident review will be led by the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and include an examination of the police policies, training and communication, along with the deployment of officers and tactics. It will also examine who was in command and the potential for active-shooter incidents.

Garland spoke on Wednesday from the Justice Department building in Washington.

“Nothing can undo the pain that has been inflicted on the loved ones of the victims, the survivors and the entire community of Uvalde,” Garland said in a statement. “But the Justice Department can and will use its expertise and independence to assess what happened and to provide guidance moving forward.”

Following the announcement, Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin released the following statement:

“I want to thank United States Attorney General Merrick Garland, Unites States Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, and the Department of Justice on the swift action to begin the Critical Incident Review at my request on the horrific tragedy at Robb Elementary School. This assessment and the findings are of the utmost importance to the victims and their families, the community of Uvalde, and the Country. The city will fully cooperate with the Department of Justice and will assist with coordinating as necessary with other local entities as needed for this review. I trust the assessment will be fair and transparent. Our grieving families and our community deserve answers to all their questions.”

The team includes: Rick Braziel, the former police chief in Sacramento; Gene Deisinger, who was a deputy chief at Virginia Tech; Frank Fernandez, who served as the director of public safety in Coral Gables, Florida; Albert Guarnieri, a unit chief at the FBI; Mark Lomax, who worked as a major with the Pennsylvania State Police; Laura McElroy, the CEO of McElroy Media Group; John Mina, the sheriff in Orange County, Florida; April Naturale, an assistant vice president at Vibrant Emotional Health; and Kristen Ziman, the former police chief in Aurora, Illinois.

Editor’s Note: The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

David Ibañez has been managing editor of since the website's launch in October 2000.

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