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Report into Uvalde school massacre set to be released

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is expected to release a report into the Uvalde, Texas school shooting later this week.

The announcement came during a regular school board meeting for the Uvalde Consolidated School District on Monday.

The shooting, which occurred on 24 May 2022, resulted in the deaths of 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School. Seventeen other people were injured as well.

The DoJ has previously said that the probe’s goal was to provide an independent account of law enforcement actions and responses; identify lessons learned and best practices to help first responders prepare for and respond to active shooter events; and provide a roadmap for community safety and engagement before, during, and after such incidents.

“Nothing can undo the pain that has been inflicted on the loved ones of the victims, the survivors, and the entire community of Uvalde,” Attorney General Merrick B 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.”

Uvalde Consolidated School District Superintendent Ashley Chohlis announced the upcoming report. She said the district is preparing communications for its release and counsellors will be made available to students.

In a report released by the Texas House of Representatives in 2022, lawmakers found that law enforcement responders waited 73 minutes before breaching the classroom doors and that there was “egregiously poor decision making” in how they reacted to the shooting.

The school board fired Pete Arrendondo, the chief of police at the time of the shooting. When the incident occurred, he said he was not aware that he was tasked with leading the emergency response to the shooting, even though school district policy called for him to be incident commander.

A criminal investigation into police response during the shooting remains ongoing. The results of that investigation will eventually be presented to a grand jury.