Justice Department names nine-member team to review Texas school shooting, law enforcement response

An FBI official and former police chiefs are among those on the team
Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2022
Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas, May 24, 2022

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday announced a nine-person team to help the Justice Department in a review of law enforcement’s response to the mass shooting last month at a Texas elementary school. 

An FBI official and former police chiefs are among those on the team, according to the department.

The critical incident review of the May 24 attack that killed 19 children and two teachers at the Uvalde, Texas, school is being led by the department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

The review will include an examination of police policies, training and communication, along with the deployment of officers and tactics, the Justice Department said, according to the Associated Press.

Team members reportedly met on the day of the announcement, with some in Garland’s Washington, D.C., office and others by remote video. 

"We will be doing site visits to the school," Garland said. "We will be conducting interviews of an extremely wide variety of stakeholders, witnesses, families, law enforcement, government officials, school officials. And we will be reviewing the resources that were made available in the aftermath."

The findings and recommendations will be made public. The review was requested by Uvalde's mayor. 

Law enforcement and state officials have struggled to present an accurate timeline and details, and they have stopped releasing information about the police response, the wire service also reports.

The 18-year-old gunman was inside Robb Elementary for roughly 80 minutes, and more than an hour passed from when the first officers followed him into the building to when he was killed, according to an official timeline. Parents outside begged police to rush in, and children called 911 from inside.

The team members are:  

  • Rick Braziel, a former police chief in Sacramento, Calif.
  • Gene Deisinger, a former deputy chief at Virginia Tech
  • Frank Fernandez, who served as the director of public safety in Coral Gables, Florida 
  • FBI official Albert Guarnier
  • Mark Lomax, a retired Pennsylvania State Police officer
  • Laura McElroy, the CEO of McElroy Media Group
  • John Mina, the sheriff in Orange County, Florida
  • April Naturale, an assistant vice president at Vibrant Emotional Health
  • Kristen Ziman, the former police chief in Aurora, Illinois