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Uvalde prepares for DOJ report on school shooting response

Nearly 20 months after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers, the Justice Department could release its findings this week.
Visitors hug each other as they place flowers at a memorial in Uvalde, Texas, Wednesday, May 24, 2023.
Posted at 10:34 AM, Jan 16, 2024

The Department of Justice is expected to release this week a detailed report on the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two adults dead in May 2022, Superintendent Ashley Chohlis said during Monday's board meeting. 

Chohlis noted that guidance counselors would be available for the district following the release of Thursday's report. 

In May 2023, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta met with families of those killed during the school shooting. Gupta told families it would take several more months to compile and write the report. 

The Department of Justice stated there are three goals it has for the report: 

- Independent account of law enforcement and other stakeholder actions and responses

- Identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events 

- Provide a roadmap for community safety before, during and after such incidents

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As of May's status update, the Department of Justice said it had conducted over 200 interviews with people representing over 30 agencies. The DOJ added that over 13,000 pieces of evidence were being reviewed, including training materials, videos and communications. 

Law enforcement's response to the school shooting faced intense criticism. It took more than an hour for officers to confront the gunman before he was fatally wounded. 

Officials initially gave conflicting reports on whether the gunman was confronted when entering the school. They later said that they waited on a key to enter a classroom, only to find that the door was unlocked.

Social media videos showed officers setting a perimeter around the school, holding back desperate parents from entering the school.