On January 18, 2024, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the release of a report on its critical incident review of the law enforcement response to the tragic school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced the review shortly after the tragedy on May 24, 2022, in which 19 children and two teachers died. The report provides a thorough description of the critical incident review that has taken place over the past 20 months.
“The law enforcement response at Robb Elementary on May 24th, 2022 — and the response by officials in the hours and days after — was a failure. As a consequence of failed leadership, training, and policies, 33 students and three of their teachers — many of whom had been shot — were trapped in a room with an active shooter for over an hour as law enforcement officials remained outside. We hope to honor the victims and survivors by working together to try to prevent anything like this from happening again, here or anywhere.”
The report examines the multiple failures in the response to the tragedy, including the breakdowns in leadership, decision-making, tactics, policy, and training that contributed to those failures. It describes the responding officers’ most significant failure as not treating the incident throughout as an active shooter situation and using the available and sufficient resources and equipment to push forward immediately and continuously to eliminate the threat. Although several of the first officers on the scene initially acted consistent with generally accepted practices to try to engage the subject, once they retreated after being met with gunfire, the law enforcement responders began treating the incident as a barricaded subject scenario rather than as an active shooter situation. In all, there was a 77-minute gap between when officers first arrived on the scene and when they finally confronted and killed the subject.
To view the DOJ press release, click here.