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U.S. Justice Department to investigate police response to Texas school shooting

The U.S. Justice Department said on Sunday it will review the law enforcement response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 21 people, after officers waited more than an hour to confront the shooter.

Police face growing criticism after waiting more than an hour to confront shooter

Police respond to the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday. The law enforcement response to the shooting is facing increased scrutiny after officials confirmed officers waited more than an hour to confront the shooter as students repeatedly called 911. (Dario Lopez-Mills/The Associated Press)

The U.S. Justice Department said Sunday it will review the law enforcement response to the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

The review comes amid mounting pressure and questions about the shifting and at times contradictory information about what happened in the shooting on Tuesday at Robb Elementary School and how police responded.

Justice Department spokesperson Anthony Coley said the review would be conducted in a fair, impartial and independent manner and that the findings would be made public.

The review is being conducted at the request of Uvalde's mayor, officials said.

In a statement, Coley said the goal of the review is "to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and response that day, and to identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events."

Handling the review is the department's Office of Community Policing Services.

Officers from several different law enforcement agencies near the windows of Robb Elementary School during the shooting. Some officers broke windows and evacuated children from classrooms while others were in the hallway outside the two rooms where the gunman was holed up.. (Pete Luna/Uvalde Leader-News/Reuters)

Such a review is somewhat rare and most after-action reports that come after a mass shooting are generally compiled by local law enforcement agencies or outside groups.

Authorities revealed on Friday that students and teachers repeatedly begged 911 operators for help even as a police commander told more than a dozen officers to wait in a school hallway.

Officials said the commander believed that the suspect was barricaded inside an adjoining classroom and that there was no longer an active attack.

The revelation caused more grief and raised new questions about whether more lives were lost because officers did not act faster to stop the gunman, who was ultimately killed by Border Patrol tactical officers.

WATCH | U.S. President Joe Biden visits memorials, families in Uvalde:

Biden visits Texas to honour victims of Uvalde mass shooting

3 months ago
Duration 5:12
U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden hoped to console a city stricken by grief and anger as they paid tribute to the 19 students and two teachers killed in a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school.

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