Justice Department report into Uvalde school shooting expected this week

FILE - A couple visits murals created to honor the victims of the shootings at Robb Elementary School, Aug. 25, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. Department of Justice officials will release their findings of an investigation into the law enforcement response to the Uvalde school shooting this week, 18 months after the massacre that left 21 people dead. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

UVALDE, Texas – The Justice Department is planning this week to release findings of an investigation into law enforcement’s response to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers were killed.

The report is expected to be released Thursday. Uvalde Consolidated School District Superintendent Ashley Chohlis notified the community of the imminent report at a school board meeting Monday night.

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Justice Department officials have previously said the review into one of the deadliest classroom shootings in U.S. history would focus on the law enforcement response, an usual step prompted by contradictory information from authorities at the time.

The DOJ has said the investigation would “provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and response that day” and identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for active shooter events.

A panel of state lawmakers found in 2022 that nearly 400 officers responded to the shooting when a gunman stormed the school, but they waited over an hour to confront the attacker. The nearly 80-page report found that “egregiously poor decision-making” led to hundreds of heavily armed officers waiting in the hallway as the gunman fired into two fourth-grade classrooms.

At least five officers have lost their jobs, including two Department of Public Safety officers and Uvalde’s school police chief, Pete Arredondo, who was the on-site commander during the attack.

The town of over 15,000 has remained divided on moving forward and seeking accountability for the responding officers. Some family members of those killed have expressed frustration at the delay of investigations.

Uvalde County District Attorney Christina Mitchell said in December that a criminal investigation into the police response will continue into this year before she can present her findings to a grand jury.

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