On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice will release its findings focusing on the police response to the massacre at Robb Elementary School in 2022.
UVALDE, Texas — The U.S. Department of Justice is set to release a Critical Incident Report on law enforcement’s response to the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.
On Wednesday night, loved ones of the victims were the first to learn what’s in the report, which is scheduled to be published at 12:30 p.m. CST Thursday. U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officials – including U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland – met with families at Uvalde’s Herby Ham Activity Center.
The two-hour conversation took place behind closed doors.
Following the meeting, some families shared with reporters what they learned.
“It was basically a detailed and summarized view of what happened [on May 24, 2022],” said Alfred Garza III, the father of Amerie Jo Garza, one of 19 students killed in the Robb Elementary shooting. “The report wasn’t to point fingers and stuff like that. There will be stuff laid out to where whoever is reading the report can determine that.”
The Justice Department’s investigation involved interviews with more than 200 individuals and the analysis of nearly 13,000 pieces of evidence as of spring 2023. Parents say there weren’t too many specifics revealed Wednesday, and some information they heard from the DOJ they weren’t at liberty to discuss prior to the report being published.
Emotions filled the air Wednesday evening. Families who lost loved ones at Robb Elementary School say Garland treated everyone with empathy and compassion. He was also open to answering many of the questions parents had for investigators, families said.
Much of the conversation, families told KENS 5, revolved around what they already knew: The response by law enforcement at Robb Elementary was a failure.
“The briefing we received today was very positive. We look forward to seeing the report because we think it will validate a lot of our feelings already as to what transpired, what didn’t transpire and what should have happened,” said Oscar Orona, whose son, Noah, survived being shot in the classroom. “Not only the people in the United States, but (those) around the world will finally see the abysmal failure law enforcement had that day.”
Berlinda Arreola, the grandmother of Amerie Jo Garza, says she’s still processing the conversations that unfolded in the private meeting.
“It was a lot of information. I guess the next step is to find out what will be done with this information,” said Arreola.
Parents are expecting Thursday will reveal a thorough, unbiased investigation into the inaction by law enforcement at Robb Elementary School. They’re looking forward to the objective analysis by an entity that was not part of the response on May 24, 2022.
At the end of the day, families hope this new review will help bring the change and accountability they’ve been fighting for since the beginning.
“The truth will come out tomorrow,” said another parent as she walked out of Wednesday’s meeting.
Following the release of the DOJ report, Attorney General Garland will hold a press conference at 1:30 p.m. discussing the department’s findings. Uvalde families tell KENS 5 they will also share their thoughts on the new report in a news conference following the DOJ’s remarks.
KENS 5 will livestream both events on KENS5.com and the KENS 5 app.
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